Tags: JPMorgan | Royal | Straight | Flush

JPMorgan CEO Dimon: US Economy Has a 'Royal Straight Flush'

By    |   Wednesday, 09 May 2012 01:09 PM

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is overwhelmingly optimistic about the U.S. economy, saying it holds a winning hand. And the nation’s future would be even better were it not for government policies.

"There's no problem this country has it can't fix," Dimon told Fortune, saying the U.S. has the world's strongest military, best businesses, most entrepreneurial workforce and widest and deepest capital markets.

"We have the royal straight flush." (In most poker games, the two best possible hands are the royal flush and the straight flush. Players who hold either of these two hands in most poker games are almost assured of having a winning hand.)

Editor's Note: I Wish I Were Wrong — Economist Laments Being Right. See Interview.

"Business is great shape. Consumers are in better shape," he said.

Housing is recovering and 1.2 million new homes will be built a year, adding 2 million jobs, he said. "So we're getting there."

Asked why companies, which have reported record profits have not hired more, Dimon said American businesses have added four million jobs the last 24 months.

"I don't think government policy had anything to do with it," he said. "It should have been 8 million."

Dimon complained without elaborating that the "constant attack on business" is hurting consumer and business confidence. The debt ceiling crisis and the failure to adopt Simpson-Bowles, a bipartisan budget plan that proposes cutting entitlements, cutting other spending and raising taxes, has also hampered the recovery, he said.

Economists generally believe the U.S. economy is improving but improving slowly. Economists surveyed by the AP say they expect growth to pick up this year but not enough to significantly decrease unemployment. Unemployment will fall below 8.2 percent by Election Day but won't reach 6 percent until 2015 or later, they predict.

"The outlook is for continued moderate growth," said John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, according to the AP.

"Nonetheless, we have nearly 4½ million fewer jobs today than five years ago, and the unemployment rate remains very high at 8.2 percent."

Editor's Note: I Wish I Were Wrong — Economist Laments Being Right. See Interview.

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Wednesday, 09 May 2012 01:09 PM
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