Dimon blames ‘childish’ Congress for stimulus deadlock

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, called out the US Congress for failing to pass further fiscal stimulus, saying its inability to cut a deal reflects “childish behaviour by our politicians”.

“We’ve got to focus on the job at hand,” Mr Dimon said, speaking at a conference on Wednesday. “We need some fiscal stimulus, just to bring us through” the Covid-19 crisis.

“Is it $2.2tn, $1.5tn? You’ve got to be kidding me. Just split the baby and move on,” Mr Dimon said, arguing Congress was failing the American people, who feel “deep, deep, deep frustration”. 

“I would have walked into that last negotiation [and] if I had to give it all up on either side, it would have been great for the country. They should have focused on what was great for the country,” Mr Dimon said.

Mr Dimon’s plea for more government aid followed similar calls by other business leaders and groups. On Monday, speaking on a conference call with analysts, Doug McMillon, chief executive of Walmart, said worsening Covid-19 infection rates in the US required a political response. 

“The increasing cases will put more pressure on small businesses that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic,” Mr McMillon said. “It will be imperative that elected officials in Washington work together to deliver the help so many small businesses need to get through this next phase.”

In comments last week, Mr Dimon also suggested that Donald Trump had lost the presidential election to Joe Biden and should concede, saying, “We must respect the results of the US presidential election and, as we have with every election, honour the decision of the voters.”

Asked at the conference whether he would consider taking the job of Treasury secretary in a Biden administration — a possibility that has long been the subject of speculation — Mr Dimon demurred.

“I love what I do and I’ve never coveted the job,” he said, adding, “I love my country and I will help anybody who has that job.”

He offered conditional praise of Mr Trump’s policies, however, when it came to China. “I wouldn’t have done the tariffs, but I do think President Trump got [the Chinese] to the table.”

In the past, Mr Dimon has also expressed enthusiasm about Mr Trump’s corporate tax cuts, for helping to keep US business competitive globally.