Jamie Dimon’s annual letter to JPMorgan Chase shareholders has just been published. The widely read note offers a glimpse of his views on not just business, but the economy at a “pivotal moment for America and the free world,” with deep divisions at home and global uncertainty.

Here are some highlights.

The economy is resilient but the government underpinning it is a red flag. Consumers are spending and investors expect a soft landing. But Dimon warns that the economy is being fueled by government spending and rising deficits. “The deficits today are even larger and occurring in boom times — not as the result of a recession — and they have been supported by quantitative easing, which was never done before the great financial crisis,” he writes.

Inflation may be sticky. “These markets seem to be pricing in at a 70% to 80% chance of a soft landing — modest growth along with declining inflation and interest rates,” Dimon writes, adding that the odds are actually a lot lower.

Global uncertainty is another dark cloud. The wars in Ukraine and the Middle East could further “disrupt energy and food markets, migration, and military and economic relationships.” That shock coincides with a surge in public investment to power a green transition, restructure supply chains and trade relationships, and boost health care spending.

Industrial policy is needed but should be limited and targeted. Dimon says the U.S. must be tough with China, but engage with Beijing. That includes establishing independence on supplies of materials crucial to national security, like rare earth, semiconductors and 5G infrastructure. (According to Dimon, the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPs Act get it right.)

Dimon warns about the deep political divisions at home. Dimon doesn’t explicitly weigh in on the election (his public backing for some of Donald Trump’s economic policies caused a stir at Davos in January), but said the U.S. is grappling with “highly charged, emotional and political” issues centering around the border security crisis and the “fraying of the American dream.”

  • On Basel 3 endgame: Dimon reiterated his concerns that many of the proposed banking rules are “flawed and poorly calibrated.”

  • On corporate governance: Dimon argues that proxy advisory firms like ISS have become too influential (he recently backed Disney in its fight against Nelson Peltz). He is opposed to recent efforts to split chairman and C.E.O. roles and thinks the universal proxy “makes it easier to put poorly qualified directors on a board.”


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