The “sun, the moon and the stars” have finally begun to align for the U.S. economy, creating room for companies to grow, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told CNBC on Wednesday.
In an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dimon said that profit margins are up, cash hoards are growing, and small and midsize businesses are better placed.
“I believe the sun, the moon and the stars are lined up. … Corporate America’s in excellent shape,” Dimon said. “Six million more Americans are working. Americans are wealthier in their homes, their 401(k)s. And government is doing no damage.”
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“I think those things are going to line up, that it’s possible that we’re just going to start to strengthen as a company, that investors will be looking for opportunities,” he added. “Remember, companies want to expand.”
Dimon’s comments came just days after his bank reported earnings, which were down year-over-year on investment banking weakness and legal costs related to the Bernard Madoff case.
The executive addressed JPMorgan’s legal woes, including recent reports that the bank may have hired the children of Chinese officials in order to win business in China.
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“I don’t know the … circumstance exactly, but I think we’re trying to make decisions that try to make us as pure as possible, that we’re trying to do the right thing,” Dimon said.
It has been “a norm of business for years” that companies hire ex-government officials and sons and daughters of officials, he said, and there should be a way to do that without running afoul of corrupt practices laws.
But banking in China has been in the news for another reason: a government crackdown on the bitcoin.
Dimon said it was unlikely that JPMorgan would have much to do with the virtual currency, whose legality has been questioned worldwide.
“The question isn’t whether we accept it. The question is do we even participate [with] people who facilitate bitcoin?” he said. “The people who are gonna eventually really get upset with it will be governments, you know.”
—Writing by CNBC.com Staff