Wall Street CEOs Cozy Up to Trump Ahead of His Arrival in Davos

  • Blankfein, Dimon give credit for market, economic strength
  • Goldman chief likes more than he dislikes about president
Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli previews President Trump’s trip to Davos.

Wall Street is warming up to Donald Trump.

Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein gave credit to the U.S. president Wednesday for policies that they said will help boost economic growth and drive markets higher.

“I like a lot more stuff than I don’t like,” Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview on CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “I’ve really liked what he’s done for the economy and I think he’s gone out of his way to be very, very supportive of the system. And I don’t want to be antagonistic to them. And frankly, I want to honor that.”

Dimon, who runs JPMorgan Chase & Co., said he’s focusing on policy issues rather than the rhetoric coming out of the administration.

“What I’m bulled up about is that policy makers are making good policy decisions in the U.S. about taxes, about proper regulatory reform,” Dimon said in a Bloomberg Television interview at the Swiss ski resort, where Trump plans to arrive on Thursday morning.

Read more Davos coverage here

Banks have been encouraged by efforts to soften regulations and by corporate tax cuts that are expected to give the largest lenders a windfall of more than $10 billion. Regulators are working to ease banks’ leverage-ratio requirements and the Volcker Rule, which limits the firms’ ability to trade for their own accounts.

Here are other comments gathered from Wall Street CEOs in Davos on Wednesday:

On Markets

  • “Markets are expensive, but they’re not ridiculous,” Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “Future earnings are growing, and the tax cuts will amplify that growth.”
  • “I think the market would be lower” if Trump weren’t president, Blankfein said. “I’d say the animal spirits are out there and a little bit more vital than they would have been otherwise.”
  • Blankfein also said he’d “feel a lot better about where asset prices are including equities if interest rates were normalized.” Very low rates mean “there’s a lot of investment and a lot of froth in the market,” he said. “What’s going to happen when interest rates normalize and get closer to where the growth rate is?”

On Global Economy

  • “This is the first synchronized growth we’ve seen in well over a decade," Citigroup Inc. CEO Michael Corbat said on Bloomberg Television. “Who would have thought we’d see Europe growing like this a year ago?”
  • “I’m not sure if you took any decade in the last five, you’ve had this kind of global synchronized growth,” Gorman said. “We’re not just talking about the U.S. and China, you’ve got growth in Japan for the first time in three decades.”

On Succession Plans

  • “The board and I both believe that some of my direct reports could run this company today,” Dimon said, adding that he still plans to run JPMorgan for another five years, as he’s said in the past. “We have an unbelievable team, I want to keep them all, and we have another layer down that’s very talented.”

— With assistance by Hugh Son, and Erik Schatzker

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