Dimon Says U.S. Lacks Europe’s Will to Fix Fiscal Policy

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon listens during a forum session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said U.S. policy makers need to muster more willpower to overhaul rules and fiscal policy, emulating European leaders who are committed to solving their debt crisis.

“A lot of bad policy has been a wet blanket on the economy” in the U.S., Dimon said today at an economic summit in Miami, calling on Congress to overhaul regulations and tax laws. “I’d like to see more pro-growth policies that make it easier for the whole system to run.”

Dimon, 56, has been a proponent of reforming the U.S. tax code and budget to spur growth and rein in fiscal deficits. President Barack Obama signed legislation on Jan. 2 that, in addition to raising tax rates on the highest earners, delayed for two months automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

Proper fiscal policies could bring growth as high as 4 percent and a rapidly falling unemployment rate, Dimon said, adding that the U.S. doesn’t have a “divine right to success.” Geopolitical developments have the potential to be a “black swan” risk, he said, referring to rare and hard-to-predict events with the potential for severe economic consequences.

While Europe may remain a “roller coaster,” the continent’s leaders “have the will” to tackle problems, he said. “We know exactly the way,” he said of the U.S. “We don’t yet have the will.”

Dimon also said Florida has more business-friendly policies than the company’s home state of New York, and he joked that he sometimes wonders why the company doesn’t move to Miami.

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