Jamie Dimon expressed optimism that the pandemic would end with a two-year economic recovery in the United States.
“I have little doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, huge deficit spending, more QE, a new potential infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine and euphoria around the end of the pandemic, the U.S. economy will likely boom,” the JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive officer said Wednesday in his annual letter to shareholders. “This boom could easily run into 2023.”
Unprecedented federal bailout measures, according to Dimon, have reduced unemployment and averted further economic deterioration. Dimon also said that banks came into the recession strong and ready to assist communities in weathering the storm. Though lenders benefited from the stimulus package, he said, they also built up buffers against potential loan losses and performed well in stress tests.
Consumers in the United States, according to Dimon, have used stimulus checks to minimize debt to the lowest level in 40 years and saved the money, granting them – like companies – a “extraordinary” amount of purchasing power once the lockdowns are lifted. According to him, the most recent round of quantitative easing steps would have generated more than $3 trillion in deposits at US banks, some of which can be lent out.
According to Dimon, all of this could lead to a Goldilocks moment, in which the economy grows quickly and steadily while inflation rises slowly. Virus variants and a rapid or prolonged increase in inflation that causes prices to rise sooner are also threats to that outcome.
Dimon, 65, is the most well-known executive in global banking, working as a spokeswoman for the industry while running a Wall Street and consumer lending behemoth. He’s been the company’s CEO since the end of 2005, and he’s the only one who has survived the financial crisis since leading a big bank through it.
The 65-page letter (plus a page of footnotes) is Dimon’s most extensive to date, following an abbreviated one last year that arrived less than a week after he returned to work after emergency heart surgery. It covers a wide range of subjects, from financial regulation to China to injustice and structural racism, as usual.