Americans who assume that the U.S. economy will continue to boom for years on the back of consumer strength are making "a huge mistake," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said at a financial conference in New York on Sept. 11.
At the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference, Mr. Dimon warned of a number of risks to the U.S. economy, including the Ukraine war, monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve, and increasing reliance on government spending.
Consumer Strength Weakening?Consumer spending, which represents roughly 70 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, posted solid growth in July, the latest month of available data. However, economists widely expect the past year of aggressive Fed interest rate increases to weigh more heavily on domestic demand.
The latest data on retail sales showed that Americans spent more than expected in July, splurging on hobbies, sporting goods, and clothing, prompting economists at Goldman Sachs to raise their third-quarter gross domestic product estimate by seven-tenths of a percentage point to a 2.2 percent annualized rate.
While financial markets have, over the summer, largely dismissed recession fears, fresh data suggest that the country may be facing a "stagnation" point.
Mr. Dimon's remarks at the conference tapped into that sentiment, with the JPMorgan chief saying that the health of U.S. consumers and businesses was still "pretty good," although he warned against overconfidence.
Key concerns that he mentioned were the twin factors of central bank efforts to roll back easy money policies—which have pushed inflation to multi-decade highs—and governments "spending like drunken sailors."
Higher Capital RequirementsAt the conference, Mr. Dimon also took aim at the higher capital requirements that U.S. regulators have proposed for banks, warning that such measures could starve the economy of credit and amount to another hurdle to growth.
"I wouldn't be a big buyer of a bank," he said, drawing laughter from the audience, while calling the new proposal "hugely disappointing."
The regulatory proposal has been roundly criticized by the banking industry, with Bank Policy Institute President and CEO Greg Baer warning of "higher costs to consumers and greater instability for markets," in a statement obtained by The Epoch Times.
Mr. Dimon said that the new regulatory proposal would require JPMorgan to hold 30 percent more in capital than a European lender, which he said is an unfair burden on U.S. banks.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari recently said he expects more government regulation of the banking sector in light of several high-profile bank failures.
Mr. Kashkari also said that he'd like to see the proposed capital requirement rules apply to smaller institutions with less than $100 billion in total assets, though he didn't specify what threshold he had in mind.
At this week's conference, Mr. Dimon also said he believes that the Chinese market is no longer as attractive to foreign investors as it once was.
"In terms of our own business, the risk-reward [from China], which was very good, has now become OK. The risk is bad," he said, adding that JPMorgan has become more cautious about managing its risk.