Jamie Dimon is emerging as one of Wall Street’s biggest Trump supporters.
“The Trump administration’s [economic] agenda is the right agenda,” the chief executive and chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said in a recent interview with Business Insider’s Matt Turner.
Dimon’s comments are remarkable because the head of America’s largest bank is a lifelong Democrat. He contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2007 and 2008 and was reportedly considered as a possible candidate for Treasury Secretary under Barack Obama. According to a 2009 analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, Dimon and his wife Judy donated more than half a million dollars to Democrats between 1989 and 2009, more than 12 times what the couple has donated to Republicans.
The anti-business rhetoric of Democrats during the Obama administration, however, drove a wedge between Dimon and the Democrats. “I would call myself a ‘barely Democrat,” Dimon said in a 2012 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He said he didn’t support any candidate in 2012 because his membership on the New York Federal Reserve board precluded political endorsements.
During the 2016 campaign, Dimon often appeared to be critical of Donald Trump, although he usually did not call out the candidate by name. Since the election, however, Dimon has been sounding more and more like Trump enthusiast.
“Corporate taxes have been driving capital and brains and companies overseas for a decade. It has caused huge damage in investment and jobs and productivity. It was a mistake. We have to fix it. Counterintuitively, that usually helps middle-class wages, and lower-class wages, and job formation,” Dimon said in the Business Insider interview.
Dimon’s also endorsed the Trump administration’s position on regulation.
“The second issue is regulation. If you talk to anyone involved in business — forget banks and big business — talk to small businesses — do it yourself, don’t ask me — they’ll tell you it’s crippling. Small-business formation is the lowest it has ever been in a recovery, and it’s really for two reasons. One is regulations and the second is access to capital for people starting new businesses,” Dimon said.
On infrastructure: “You might be shocked to find out, we haven’t built a major airport for 20 years. China built 75 in the past 10 years. It takes 10 years to get all the permits to build a bridge today. Ten years? What happened to the good old can-do America? Where is “We get it done, we work together”? We’ve become this bureaucratic, stifling environment.”
Dimon even refused to take-up Business Insider’s invitation to bash Trump’s position on immigration and trade.
“You say the Trump administration’s economic agenda is the right one. Is there a risk that some of the benefits from that economic agenda could be undone by other policies like trade and immigration?” Turner asked Dimon.
“[M]y own view is that they have laid out some real trade issues that are accurate for both China and Mexico, where we can improve upon the trade agreements, and I think we’ll improve on the trade agreements. I may be wrong, but I think that is their objective, and they’re using tough words,” Dimon said.
On immigration, Dimon sounds decidedly less Trump-ish but hardly an advocate for blanket amnesty or open-borders. “I think immigration has been one of the vital things about the growth of America. I’m the product of grandparents who all immigrated from Greece. I hope eventually we have proper immigration. Good people who have paid their taxes and haven’t broken the law, get them into citizenship at the back of the line. I think that can be worked out. If people get educated here, and they’re foreign nationals, get them a green card. I’ve even heard the president speak about that. There are things to do to make immigration work for all of America,” Dimon said.