JPMorgan’s Dimon Says US Shouldn’t ‘Play Games’ on Debt Ceiling
Jamie Dimon said the government shouldn’t play games with the debt ceiling, amid a standoff among Republicans and Democrats as the clock ticks on the borrowing cap.
(Bloomberg) -- Jamie Dimon said the government shouldn’t play games with the debt ceiling, amid a standoff among Republicans and Democrats as the clock ticks on the borrowing cap.
“We should never question the creditworthiness of the US government. That is sacrosanct and it should never happen,” the JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive officer said Thursday in an interview on CNBC. “This is not something we should be playing games with at all.”
Congress is locked in an intense political fight over the debt ceiling, which threatens to upend financial markets sometime after early June, when the US may default on a payment obligation.
The White House has said the debt ceiling should be increased without conditions, and administration officials have said they won’t negotiate on the matter.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week told Congress that the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling will be reached by Thursday. After that, Treasury can deploy special accounting measures to avert a payment default until sometime after early June, she said.
Dimon also reiterated previous comments about the economy — including that interest rates could go higher than 5%, and warned businesses that they should be prepared for all eventualities. He has previously said the economy remains strong, with consumers and businesses healthy even amid rising interest rates. On Thursday, he said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be “an inflection point” for the western world, as he listed it as one of the “real” issues facing the world alongside the vulnerable state of energy and trade.
In releasing its fourth-quarter results on Friday, JPMorgan warned of a “modest deterioration” in its macroeconomic outlook.
Dimon said last week that acquiring Frank, the college financial-planning website, was “a huge mistake,” and he vowed to share takeaways from the experience after related litigation is over. He said on Thursday that there will always be lessons — and mistakes — in response to questions about the deal.
JPMorgan is suing the founder of Frank, which it bought for $175 million in 2021, for allegedly concocting millions of fake customers. A lawyer for the founder has disputed the allegations. The debacle threatens to renew concerns about spending at the biggest US bank that plagued the firm for much of last year.
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