DAVOS, Switzerland -- At least one prominent member of the global financial elite is open to paying higher taxes and specifically accepting an increase in capital gains taxes proposed by President Barack Obama -- a measure long opposed by Wall Street.
"Everyone I know wants it, tax reform. Democrats and Republicans, and across a broad base -- individual and corporate -- and this is some of it," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told the International Business Times in an interview here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. "I don't think it can stand on its own. It has to be comprehensive."
Asked specifically about Obama's proposal to increase capital gains taxes paid by investors -- a measure that has in years past drawn accusations of class warfare from Wall Street -- Dimon expressed no opposition.
"If capital gains taxes go up, fine," Dimon said. "But you've got to make it part of a package. And I hope that the package is a growth package."
Dimon's comments here reinforced what appears to be a readjustment by Wall Street leaders in their stance toward the Obama administration as the White House places greater emphasis on addressing economic inequality. In years past, Dimon has chafed at characterizations that Wall Street was to blame for the financial crisis and the Great Recession, while accusing Democrats of pursuing "anti-business" policies.
In an interview two years ago, Dimon told NBC that he was "disturbed at some of the Democrats' behavior, anti-business behavior, the sentiment, the attacks on work ethic and successful people," adding: "I think it's counter-productive."
Earlier this month, Dimon complained that "banks are under assault."
Dimon has previously said he was open to an increase in the capital gains tax up to 20 percent, a position that sits in contrast with other Wall Street leaders. This time, Obama is proposing to hike the top capital gains rate to 28 percent.
Earlier this week, Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan told the World Economic Forum that public anger at banks is "understandable." Moynihan later told IBTimes that Congress should hold course on financial reforms passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
The World Economic Forum, a prominent gathering of people wealthy enough to own their own jets, has been devoting much of the proceedings to discussions about how to narrow economic inequality and spread the spoils of economic expansion more broadly.
Obama cast his own tax proposal as one step in that direction. Although Republican leaders in Congress have pronounced the White House package as dead on arrival, one member of the 1 percent -- Dimon, who oversees the largest bank on earth -- is open to going along.
"I haven't really studied it," Dimon said, before expressing general support in principle, provided it is part of a comprehensive set of tax reforms.