Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) defended the banking industry during a question-and-answer session with the media at a symposium at the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Dimon said that it was unfair to “lump all banks together” and that the U.S. government’s TARP program was forced on some banks, when some did not even need it. Thus, he claimed that not all banks would have failed without government help, pointing out that his own helped to stabilize the financial markets by buying out the failed Bear Stearns.
I am optimistic. The system is stronger than three years ago, he said.
Regarding the negative headlines that major banks have generated non-stop for the past two and half years, he stated: “I don’t lump all media together….There’s good and there’s bad. There’s irresponsible and ignorant and there’s really smart media. Well, not all bankers are the same. I just think this constant refrain [of] ‘bankers, bankers, bankers,’ - it’s just a really unproductive and unfair way of treating people….People should just stop doing that.”
Overall, Dimon asserted, banks are now on a much better footing, with lots of cash on their balance sheets. He also said he isn’t too worried about the Federal Reserve ending the period of low interest rates and easy money.
“The Federal Reserve isn’t going to withdraw [liquidity] overnight,” he noted, adding that there are no signs of wage pressures, which might compel the central banks to tighten.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.