ANDY SERWER: To call Jamie Dimon an influencer is an understatement. He's a center of gravity around whom others orbit. Dimon took over JPMorgan Chase in 2005, just a few years before the financial crisis struck. He has since turned the bank into the country's second-most lucrative business, raking in $32 billion in profits last year, the chairman of the powerful Business Roundtable and a board member at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Dimon is reportedly a billionaire. He's here to talk about the changes that most profoundly shape the economy and what he's learned up close from weathering them and optimizing them.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Influencers." I'm Andy Serwer, and welcome to our guest, JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon. Jamie, nice to see you.
JAMIE DIMON: Thrilled to be here.
ANDY SERWER: So we're in this new flagship branch of the bank. And I want to ask you about that. But first, I have to ask you, Jamie, first off about the economy and the stock market. The stock market's at a record high essentially. And yet we have a trade war with China, trade disputes in North America and Europe, and rising tensions with Iran. How do you reconcile those two?
JAMIE DIMON: The market's sometimes inscrutable. But if you actually look at geopolitics, they really affect the global economy. They could. You know, these things get worse. But they really affect the global economy. I think trade is serious.
So we have United States, for example, is a very strong consumer, good balance sheet, household formation. Wages are going up, particularly at the low end. Consumer confidence is very high. And business confidence has been very high, but it's been rattled a little bit by trade.
So we've seen a little bit as business confidence drop, business investment drop. People are worried about the supply lines. And I think that may be hampering the economy a little bit. It's kind of "A Tale of Two Cities."
ANDY SERWER: And consumer confidence is down a little bit today.
JAMIE DIMON: It's down a little bit, but still quite high.
ANDY SERWER: Right.
JAMIE DIMON: And so, you know, we have those two things collide. And what affects what, I don't really know. The better thing is to have a deal in China. There are serious trade issues, you know. So we all want the president to deal with the issues seriously, which he's been doing. A resolution would be good. But we don't expect a quick resolution at this point.
ANDY SERWER: What do you expect out of the G20 in Osaka later this week?
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah. I think the best you can expect is that they have a good meeting, that that they start renegotiating that the tariffs are off for now and give the teams a chance to negotiate a deal, which maybe, if we're lucky, it could be done by the end of the year.
ANDY SERWER: So let's talk about this branch. I mean, obviously you guys have invested a lot here. But I thought that all banks were doing were shutting branches down. And yet, you know, this is a whole new way of doing banking for consumers.
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah, people in business, you always look at facts. I mean, we have a million people a day visit branches. So Millennials are doing it less, but they're still doing it. We've got 50 million people on digital. We've got 21 million different customers a year going to a branch.
These branches support local small businesses. They support middle-market companies. They support consumers. So-- and these new branches are great. So we started this whole expansion, 400 new branches in 20 major cities, right at the heart of some of our competitors, in some cases. And we always-- we love new formats.
But this format is meant to be a flagship branch and a community center. So that when the people come here, those are coming through, we have a thing called Chase Chats. So you come here for a small business or individuals talking about investing or starting small businesses, you know, but have community groups come in and talk about some of things we do to help affordable housing. So we hope that these things will be just great for-- for JPMorgan Chase. And we're thrilled to be on the expansion trail again.
ANDY SERWER: I mean, it's very experiential, right, isn't it?
JAMIE DIMON: And that expansion trail is thousands and thousands of jobs.
ANDY SERWER: Right. We'll talk about those.
JAMIE DIMON: And the new branches, you know, in DC and Philadelphia, Boston are actually doing quite well. It's early, but they're doing quite well.
ANDY SERWER: So it's very experiential. And I want to ask you, then, how does that dovetail with those 50 million online customers? I mean, is it either online or these super branches, nothing in between?
JAMIE DIMON: No. No. Most people-- actually, we-- we try all these different formats. And over time, those will change. And obviously these formats have more ATMS, less tellers, more advisors, private client advisors, small business advisors, and mortgage advisors. So the advice part is going up. The operational part is going down.
On average, the branches are getting smaller. This obviously is not one of smaller ones. But on average, they're getting smaller. But you've got to remind yourself people-- the average customer visits branches, usually the call centers, and does digital. They do all of it. And we do more for them, bill pay, online.
You can-- if you are a Chase customer, a good customer, you can buy and sell stock for free. You're going to get robo investments. It's really good.
ANDY SERWER: Looking for his phone here.
JAMIE DIMON: We'll give you guys advice and stuff like help you save for your kids' futures. And we're coming up with new products and new services all the time, that-- so people are using the more, not less.
ANDY SERWER: Over here they've got a piano. I don't know if people can see that. But, you know, that's pretty cool too. Are you gonna go play a tune?
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah, maybe. Yeah.
ANDY SERWER: OK. So I want to ask you about the business mix because obviously consumer is a huge part of what you're doing. I mean, it's almost, what, 40% to 50% of the bank's business is consumer. What is the mix going to look like, say, 5 to 10 years from now?
JAMIE DIMON: I hope our share goes up every year. And we're going to fight, you know, in the trenches for every customer by better products, better services, better technology, and more things. Like, so we've been growing both investments. Investments and deposit combined, $800 billion. We're gaining share in both those areas. And we're just rolling out some of these new products.
We just have something called Chase Offers, like free credit-- you get your credit score now. You go on, and we're going to take you on a journey about how to improve your credit score. We don't even market it. 19 million people use it already. And a lot people use it all the time.
So we can help you improve your financial-- your financial life by something like that, which we just give you for free. So we're finding a million ways help our customers do better and hopefully earn more and more of their business. Remember, 25% of the business that takes place in these branches is small business.
Small businesses need help. They need to come by and drop off coin and currencies and sign things, et cetera. So we-- we support both.
ANDY SERWER: Do banks like JPMorgan Chase have sort of an unfair advantage, though, Jamie, over smaller banks at this point because you need that scale and the capital to invest in technology to be able to succeed and attract and retain consumers?
JAMIE DIMON: So there's definite kinds of scale. That's true in most businesses. But remember, some of the smaller banks, community banks, they also have other things they can do. They have very low costs.
They buy some of these services from third-party providers. And they also have sometimes have unique experience with the small businesses there, the real estate there. So they could do a great job. But you're going-- I think you're going to see some more in the middle merge to try to get some of those economies of scale.
ANDY SERWER: Right. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a plan where he would wipe out student debt essentially by levying a tax on Wall Street, 50 basis points on equities, 10 basis points on bonds. What do you think about that plan?
JAMIE DIMON: Well, the-- first of all, is there an issue with student debt? There is. And-- but you got to stop the creation of bad debt. So look what we do with student debt. The government took it over in 2010. They've lent out a trillion dollars irresponsibly. And now they want to forgive it, OK?
And now universities, half the kids don't graduate, and it takes six years. Universities should feel more responsibility. So if you're going to make loans, make good loans that people need to get them to where they're going and get them good jobs at the end. The other thing is a lot of people get those college degrees. They don't need help.
The people who need help are the inner-city school kids, the kids who aren't graduating high school, you know, some of the kids at community college who need Pell grants and stuff like that. So if you're going to help, make sure you direct it to those who really need it. How you pay for it, you can debate it all day long. You know, financial tax will be paid for by investors at the end of the day.
ANDY SERWER: So you support the plan?
JAMIE DIMON: No, I think they should look at all parts of student lending, fix the broken parts, and then forgive those people who need forgiveness, and then help people get into school, and then make sure the schools are responsible in getting the kids out. What we've done is a disgrace. And it's hurting America. We see it hurting household formation, mortgages, et cetera. How they go about taxing it, I'll leave that to the politicians to figure out.
ANDY SERWER: Let me ask you about the Federal Reserve, Jamie. They've been signaling strongly they're going to cut rates. The question is why? Unemployment's low. GDP's is pretty good. Other parts of the economy pretty healthy. And yet we need a rate cut?
JAMIE DIMON: Well, they haven't done anything yet. I think they signaled that they can go either way at this point. You know, but you-- you asked a very important thing. The why is often far more important than what they do. If they're cutting rates because they're worried about the economy, that's not particularly so good. If they're cutting rates because they want to grow things faster, that may not be so bad. So it really depends.
And, look, the Fed has to be data dependent. We can imagine the Fed saying, doesn't make a difference what the data says. We're going to do what we feel like. So they're trying to react properly to what's going on in the world. And they see the same things you and I see, slightly reducing business confidence, slightly reducing capital expenditures, you know, a lot of geopolitical noise out there. They should be responsive.
ANDY SERWER: And what do you make of President Trump's war, no other way to call it, on Jay Powell, in effect? I mean, the other day he called him clueless, essentially, acting like a stubborn child. Has he crossed the line?
JAMIE DIMON: Look, I think Jay Powell's a high-quality guy. And the president has no way of communicating. So I'll let you talk about how he does that. But Jay Powell is a quality guy. The central bank has to be independent. The central bank is independent. And most presidents in their heart of hearts want lower rates. That should never be a surprise to anybody.
ANDY SERWER: OK, shifting gears a little bit, I want to ask you about this initiative you have in Detroit. You're announcing an additional $50 million investment there, in addition to moneys that you pledged before. So it's $200 million by 2022. Why Detroit? It's for African-American residents and entrepreneurs. What exactly does the money go for?
JAMIE DIMON: So Detroit-- first of all, I think business has to be involved in trying to fix some of our serious problems. Detroit was an example of probably the one city or one of the cities that had no recovery. Its population went from 2 million to 700,000. A mayor got elected on a door-to-door vote, a white man in 80% black neighborhoods.
But he talked about what I thought-- we always thought as great stuff, schools, jobs, education, affordable housing. I need help. And he said to anyone, anyone who can help me, come on in, civic society, business. And people jumped in to try to help.
So we sent a team of people in, not traditional. It was to look at what can we do to help it to accelerate the recovery of Detroit. And so obviously we're quite good at affordable-- it was going to be sustained, very analytical. I'm going up there tomorrow to review some of this with the mayor around affordable housing, work skills, infrastructure.
This new effort is-- because there's still a class of citizens being left behind, and it's often minority. And they're, in this case, black Americans. So this $50 million's a special effort to help black entrepreneurs to do education, small business, and housing for the segment that's been left behind. But again, we've tried to have a very focused effort. And we use these-- what we learn in these things, we share.
So we do a little bit in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, LA. So we're getting smaller and smaller in how we can help lift up society. And we're-- there's a lot of people doing it. We're not the only ones. But Detroit is working. This effort is working.
We happen to be one of the biggest banks in Detroit, so consumer, small business, and large corporations. But if you were only in one city, wouldn't you try to help your city? That's the most important thing. So obviously it's good for the bank. But-- but it's part humanity. You're trying to help your city and your people come back and recover from what have been basically a terrible 20 years.
ANDY SERWER: Yeah. I mean, you really see progress there because people have been trying to help out the city for a number of years now.
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah. So if you go downtown-- if you went downtown 10 years ago, you couldn't walk around downtown. There was no life. There were no lights. There was a lot of crime.
You go to downtown now, there are lights. There are bands. There are restaurants. Jobs are coming back. I think the population started go up for the first time. You know, more people are moving into-- rehabbing some of these homes that have been abandoned. They're making a much better effort on skills.
And all society is working together. I mean, it's a beautiful thing to see people actually work together. I also want to say, you know how I got the idea? From Lee Saunders, who ran AFSCME, the municipal workers union, who, you know, said, Jamie, I need help in Detroit. So we've done a couple of things up in Detroit together. So unions working with banks working with civic society working with mayors working with governors, that actually works. What we see today happening like in Washington, that does not work.
ANDY SERWER: Yeah. It's an unusual-- unusual in that sense. Let me ask you about the bank and the strategy going forward. $32 billion in profits last year, second only to Apple in the United States. And you guys have really recovered incredibly from the Great Recession, of course. But what are the big opportunities going forward?
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah, our finest year was 2009. Our profits were down, I think, like 50% or 60%. But we stood behind our clients around the world, governments, city-states, schools, hospitals. And that was the finest year we had.
ANDY SERWER: Even though profits were--
JAMIE DIMON: Profit's only one measure of what you actually accomplish in life. You know, quality people, quality technology, service, obviously, you know, we live in a cyclical environment. Every now and then we're not going to have increasing profits. And-- but the future's equally bright.
You know, obviously, you're going can have competition, fintech, payment systems, you know, around the world. Those are legitimate. That's a good thing. You know, competition's a good thing. But we're pretty competitive too.
So you know, we do $11 and 1/2 billion spending on tech every year. We're opening 400 branches. We've got new products for-- for lower-income folks. We open up new countries every now and then. We have more people coining corporate clients in Europe. We're adding asset management products around the world.
So like every one of our businesses is growing at a different pace, but they're all growing. They're all pretty much gaining share. And we're pretty ambitious. And we're going to keep on driving responsible growth.
ANDY SERWER: Then why is the damn PE so low?
JAMIE DIMON: I don't worry about that. I mean, you never see me tout our stock or something like that. We're earning 17%. It was actually 19% last quarter on tangible equity. That's really good.
But we are in a little bit of cyclical business. People are still afraid of banks. You know, these things that affect the world, every one of them affects us.
So people, you know, are cautious. But we keep on doing what We're doing. We'll make our shareholders quite happy.
ANDY SERWER: And one thing you said perhaps to mitigate that ultimately would be subscription-like revenue. You were talking about that. And someone said it's sort of like Netflix almost. What does that all about?
JAMIE DIMON: The people-- we already have a lot of that. So if you look at, like, cash management, asset management, custody, a big chunk of consumer banking, a big chunk of commer-- they are subscription businesses. You know, you've signed the thing. You have revenues for years.
And of course, you have some which are more episodic. So investment banking by its nature and equity debt trades a little more episodic. Doesn't make it bad. It just makes episodic. But we're still gaining share. And the revenues generally are going up.
So you know, if you look at our financial results, if you look at just our financial results, you look at that and say, my god, that company's fairly consistent. In fact, one of our analysts did a report, Mike Mayo, and showed about the volatility of our earnings and revenues. Were less than most other companies, which would probably surprise you.
ANDY SERWER: Yeah, that's lost on people.
JAMIE DIMON: But we have a credit cycle. So everything I just said, I see credit go up or down. And episodic businesses, they scare people a little bit. But those businesses do quite well over a long period of time.
ANDY SERWER: And Jamie, let me ask you about Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency. What do you think about that?
JAMIE DIMON: Well, blockchain is real. We're-- we have the JP Morgan Coin blockchain. And I think competition is real. I think there are serious issues around money and how you can use money and send money . But they're government issues. And you've seen the government react like, well, what does that mean when you send money around the world? Will they follow banking rules or KYC, BSA/AML, or will they not?
So-- but they obviously want to serve their clients. That's fine. I also want to go serve their clients, too. So I always look at these systems about we'd like to do something too, ourselves. And we should-- we don't always want to be forced in someone else's ecosystem.
ANDY SERWER: Yeah. Did you talk to them about this at all? Did you guys talk to them about it?
JAMIE DIMON: I did not. But it's very possible someone in the company did.
ANDY SERWER: I mean, is crypto an existential threat to JPMorgan's core businesses?
JAMIE DIMON: I don't think so. I mean, people don't think clearly. We move $6 trillion a day around the world. It's very cheap, very secure. It works. And the banking system's already built, Zelle, real time P2P, and TCH, the clearing house, with the banking built real-time payments. We already have all that. And it's very cheap. It's very secure.
It shares a lot of information. It goes through all the bank security systems, cyber security systems, KYC, BSA/AML. So we have that. So we're going to have competitors. So it's whether-- whether it's a cryptocurrency competitor or another fintech competitor, we're going to have competitors.
I tell our people, just don't guess. You know they're they're. You know they're coming. You know they want to eat your lunch. Assume it. And it might-- and it might not be the ones we see. It might be the ones we don't see.
But that's why we are offering free trading. That's why we're coming out with the robo investing. That's why we're coming out with Chase Offers. That's why we're coming out with the FICO Credit Journey. These are great products and services. Some are free. So we're just making our banking more and more valuable to you, the customer.
Satisfaction scores are going up. The easy use in the business is going up. What you can do digitally is going up. So as long as we can do a good job for you, I think we'll be fine.
ANDY SERWER: But you worry about younger customers, Jamie. I mean, you guys shut down Finn. And there are all these new fintech companies out there. Which ones of those concern you the most?
JAMIE DIMON: Our-- our-- we're gaining share in Millennials every day in almost every-- in Sapphire bank card. Go ask any Millennial. I was at a party of my daughter's. And someone said Sapphire, and 10 kids were there, and they all pull out their Sapphire card. They all have it.
So we are winning with Millennials. They are using the branch less. But as they get more money, they need banking services, investment services, et cetera. So Finn-- you know, I don't look at Finn as a failure at all. I look at Finn-- we took a great team of people. We said the digital only may be fundamentally different than a bank so that they both had to build digital.
We learned a lot. But the fact is we also built a lot of digital stuff here, like digital account opening, digital this. And we just took the best of Finn, merged it in there. And now everyone gets the benefit of auto save, products that might be special for a Millennial segment or product that might be special for an older segment. So you know, we're always looking to do business, trying to serve our customers better.
ANDY SERWER: Are those young people--
JAMIE DIMON: I love-- I think the people coming in with Finn was great. We're the kind of company where it's OK to have a skunkworks, try some app. If it doesn't work, merge it in. You learn from it. I mean, Jeff Bezos always talks about the mistakes are how you learn. And you know, for the whole business world and the regulatory world to act like a mistake is always a bad thing is a mistake. It's not.
ANDY SERWER: Are those young customers different?
JAMIE DIMON: Less than you think. I mean, as they get more money, they act more and more like you do.
ANDY SERWER: Let me ask you about wages because it's kind of a hot topic. And with all these new branches you're going to be opening up, you're going to be hiring more tellers. And then of course, people are going to be asking about minimum wage, $15. Bank of America has now pledged $20 an hour. Are you guys going to match them?
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah. So the way I look at it is that I'm in favor of generally minimum wages going up. I think we've got to get people more of a living wage. And I think the federal may be raises, and then states should do more locally so it doesn't damage the economy too much.
I'm also in favor expanding the earned income tax credit so that working people get more money in their pockets by getting basically a negative income tax. I'd be dramatically in favor of that. Now, we already pay minimum $16.50 to $18. So it'll be something like $18 in the city. And it may go up over time.
We have-- you know, we look at it every year and decide how we're going to compete or not. But remember, that's already at the medium level of Americans. That's a starting job. That's a 17-year-old kid or a 22-year-old kid. And hopefully it's the first rung on the ladder. And like these branch-- I don't know if the branch manager's here-- may have started as a teller. That's how they start.
And they also get medical, dental, vision, training, enormous training. And the best training they get isn't the money we spend on training. It's they get to sit next to some of our bankers and learn how to do the business and get promoted. And so we create huge opportunity for people. And I understand the concern of America. But I have the same concern.
But these companies already pay that. They already do medical. They already train their people. We take very good care of our people. And that should be recognized a little bit better.
ANDY SERWER: You know, some politicians, particularly on the left, have been using this divisiveness and pointing those-- to those salaries and talking about the difference between those wages and your salary. But there's something there. I mean, you guys-- people might sort of pooh-pooh them, AOC, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren. But obviously it's resonating with some people. And so why is that? And what can someone in your position do?
JAMIE DIMON: I-- just because it resonates doesn't make it right. And comparing apples and oranges is a complete waste of time. You know, I think people just don't think clearly about stuff like that.
We treat our people well. We educate our people, give them huge opportunity and stuff. That's what we should do. We should acknowledge the problems in society that are causing the anger. But those problems are we can't build infrastructure. OK? Those problems are the inner-city school's not graduating our kids.
Our litigation system's capricious. Health care-- health care is huge. And what you're seeing now is not the-- I understand people-- we should health care to the 40 million who don't have it. But the biggest problems become these high deductibles, which we all did. You know, we put him in so that people can't afford the deductibles. So they're avoiding medical-- I think it's a terrible problem.
So what do we do? The second we found out, we, for our lowed-paid folks making under $60,000 a year, we cut the deductible to the extent that if they do the wellness programs, it's effectively zero. So we understand. We have a heart. We're trying to take care of all our folks and in a relevant way.
We also need our talent. If we don't have our top bankers, this company won't be that successful. If this company isn't that successful, I couldn't offer these great benefits to lower-paid employees. So people just don't think clearly. And we need good people.
We operate in a very complex global world. And we need, you know, our top bankers and lawyers and HR people and risk officers to make sure all the other things are right. And they have other opportunities not just in America, around the world with other banks. So you know, to act like somehow I can steal from them and do a good job at my company is a little bit crazy.
ANDY SERWER: Yeah, I think people are opportunistic by taking some facts and not all the facts, right? You mentioned health care. So let me ask you about Haven, which, of course, is your venture with Berkshire and Amazon. And I read somewhere, Jamie, recently that you suggested that Haven is going to be taking aim not just at the employees of those three institutions but maybe has a broader mandate. Is that, in fact, the case?
JAMIE DIMON: No. Someone wrote that. But it was
ANDY SERWER: OK.
JAMIE DIMON: The mandate is that, and give Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos full credit, that-- that we have this issue. And you look at the issue. It's end of life cost too much. We don't do a good job in chronic care. 40 million people are uninsured. There's lack of transparency in medical markets.
Obesity is now 30% of cost. Obesity drives cancer, heart disease, stroke depression, diabetes. We don't teach wellness in schools. It's a huge problem. It's now almost 20% of GDP, which is why Warren Buffett calls a tape worm of corporate America business. And, you know, for the rest of the world it's 9%.
So we said, you know what we got to do? Long-term sustained effort with really smart people. And that's what we have, Atul Gawande. We've got now 30 or 40 people. We're doing the data, the science. And we've started cracking what we could improve in all these different places and make ourselves smarter and smarter and smarter.
We said-- we didn't tell them exactly what they can or can't do. We said, you've got us. You've got our time. You've got our money. You've got our attention. Go at it. Think big. Think small. Come up with things we're going to test. And eventually we'll share that with the world.
If we come up-- I want to come with some great things we share, say, Jamie, that's a great thing that you-- we learned something. We're better off for it. And hopefully we can help fix the health care system. And that's the dream and the hope. But you got to start small, right? You've got to take that first step.
And-- and we have not-- never said what they can or can't do. Just be open minded. Be thoughtful. Use data. Figure out what's broken. Try to test how you can fix that.
ANDY SERWER: Do you talk to Atul Gawande?
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah. I saw him yesterday in fact.
ANDY SERWER: And he gives you sort of updates and briefings on what's going on?
JAMIE DIMON: Every-- every week or two.
ANDY SERWER: And what about Warren Buffett? You know, he's now finally invested in your company. Took him a while, right? And obviously he's a partner of yours in this endeavor. How often do you communicate with him?
JAMIE DIMON: Not a lot. But-- but I'm going to go see him this summer. And every now and then he comes to New York. He comes some of the JPMorgan events. I obviously think the world of Warren.
I've been studying Warren. I've been written-- read every single one of his partnership reports going back to 1956. So I've been studying him for a long time. Fortunately, I went to see Warren a couple of years ago, and he introduced me to Todd Combs.
Todd and I hit it off. Todd's brilliant. He's now on my board. He's serving on the board for Warren of Haven. And here we have Todd. Todd originally said to me, Jamie, I'm a little bit a policy nerd sometimes. He sent me big books about companies and PBMs. I said, Todd I don't have the time to become an expert on that stuff. And it was that conversation that actually led to some of this, like what could we do that we do need to look at and how we can fix these things.
And by the way, we want a partner, anyone who can help. So I tell the health care companies, any one of them, help us do this job. You should be thinking about how you can improve the health of Americans. And you know that the system has flaws. It's got-- we have some the best in the world.
But let's also acknowledge the flaws. You cannot fix problems if you don't recognize them. It's just a sine qua non. And we should start recognizing some of these problems, coming up with better policies to make it work. I think what the government did about transparency-- I haven't read the whole thing-- it's great. You know, you-- you-- if you've had MRIs or a blood test, you know, in a two-block radius in the average town, the difference in cost could be five times.
You know, we should-- we should learn that. And why is that? Is that legitimate? Should we maybe knock those costs down a little bit and share some of the benefit with our employees? So we're trying to find ways to make our employees happier, better health. We'll test certain things in wellness, maybe certain things in telemedicine. They're coming up with a bunch of stuff. And I'll let them do it from here at this point.
ANDY SERWER: And this new government program, you actually do think it's a real step forward.
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah. I haven't read the detail. But the concept? Absolutely. We should have had national exchanges, forced transparency, and a bunch of stuff. If we'd had that in Obamacare, it would have given it a much better chance to succeed. And we didn't.
ANDY SERWER: Another person you talked to from time to time is Donald Trump. You were there a couple of weeks ago, I think, on Friday. How has your relationship with him changed? Because you were pretty critical early on. It seems like you're less critical now.
JAMIE DIMON: Look, he's our president. And I see presidents and prime minister around the world. I focus on the policy. You know, it's that trade, tax, immigration, infrastructure and, you know, where we can help. We-- we tell them what we think. I went there representing the BRT, the Business Round Table. So I went with a bunch of other CEOs. And we covered a wide range of subjects, the Mexico trade deal, China tariffs and trade deal, Huawei, infrastructure, immigration.
And that's our job, try to help him do the best he can. When he says things we don't like, we disagree with him. We're pretty vocal in that too.
ANDY SERWER: Are the tariff something you disagree with him on?
JAMIE DIMON: I agree with the fact that there are serious trade issues with China. And he laid them out, IP, lack of bilateral investment rights, regulatory barriers, a whole bunch of stuff, state-owned enterprise. Those are legitimate complaints which we need to resolve.
We did not originally think you should do tariffs. We thought he should do TPP and get our allies together and then face off against China, not anger China. He's telling China, these are the terms of trade. The tariffs so far have gotten people to the table. That is true.
If you'd asked me to do it, I would have said, don't do it. But I want a successful conclusion, not-- not just getting them to the table. So-- but the Chinese have told me it got them to the table. So that's what it is, you know? I have to confess that I wouldn't have done it. And a lot of people have said the same thing. But we would like a successful conclusion.
And if he can't get a good deal, I-- then he should walk away. And that's a serious statement I just said. And if he can't get a good deal, he should walk away. And that will have ramifications. But that's life in the fast lanes. We'll survive.
ANDY SERWER: And what about USMCA?
JAMIE DIMON: We're going to work really hard to get it passed. That's part of why we went to see him. You know, the membership of the BRT wants that deal done. Mexico is a good neighbor of ours. Canada's a good neighbor. We never had a-- we haven't had a war since 1848.
You know, we should-- we should treat them respectfully and decently. They're very good neighbors. I think they're a 30-year-old democracy. We should help lift them up.
A lot if their problems are also ours. We sell them-- we buy their drugs and sell them the guns. So we should-- we should work together to fix some of these problems stuff like that. And then we're going to be fully involved in trying to get every congressman to vote for USMCA.
ANDY SERWER: How much credit does Donald Trump deserve for the economy being in such good shape?
JAMIE DIMON: I think some. You know, I think-- I really mean this that, you know, all my liberal New York friends would never agree with me. But the fact is we needed tax reform. And the way I look at tax reform is we had been at 40% federal and state for 20 years. The rest of the world went from 40% to 20%-- basically 20%. We're still average OECD.
The net result of that over 20 years is that trillions of dollars was reinvested overseas that would've been reinvested here. I think already $800 billion has been brought back. Now, some of it's going to stock buybacks and all that. But that's capital. That's just giving capital back to be reinvested.
The real benefit is cumulative reinvestment in the United States over the next 20 years. And that will be substantial. People look at what happened year over year. That's not why you do something, like having a proper tax system. And so regulatory reform, we need it.
And don't think of banks. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about any of-- the whole American public knows-- mind-numbing paperwork, red tape, and bureaucracy. It's make it harder to build homes, to build bridges, to start businesses. Small business formation is lower than it's ever been in a major recovery because of that.
Infrastructure-- this one you guys should be-- I mean, if I were you guys, I'd be talking about this every day. It takes 10 years to get the 49 permits on average to get to rebuild a broken bridge. And that's true for our water, our electric grids, our bridges, our tunnels, our airports. What the hell's wrong with this can-do American nation?
That's regulation, bureaucracy, and stupidity. And if we don't fix it, we're relegated to more years of slow growth. And they're trying to attack that. So you know, the positive-- you know, we tell him exactly what we want about immigration. We want a path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented. We want DACA to stay.
We want more merit based, like the 300,000 kids from overseas who get educated here and have to leave. You know, they come to our universities, for, you know, BAs or advanced degrees. And if we do these policies right, America will grow a lot faster.
ANDY SERWER: Jamie, you look so engaged. And I know you just promoted two women, Marianne Lake and Jen Piepszak. You talked about staying on for another three years or so. But I can't imagine you--
JAMIE DIMON: I-- I never used the word three.
ANDY SERWER: OK.
JAMIE DIMON: And it's not up to me. It's up to the board. Thank you for pointing out the two-- two magnificent women. You know, Marianne has been a great CFO for seven years. Now she's going to run credit card and mortgage and-- and auto. And Jen Piepszak, who's been in the investment bank and in consumer, was running credit card, you know, swapped into finance. And they're great partners of each other. We have exceptional people our company, including exceptional women.
ANDY SERWER: How do you personally measure success? How do you judge whether you're succeeding or not?
JAMIE DIMON: You know, I don't-- there's no one measurement. I tell people when I die, I hope people simply say, you know what? We're going to miss that son of a bitch. And he made the world a better place. It's not about profit. It's not about, you know, what's the one thing that made your legacy.
And-- but I have to have this company, this wonderful, beautiful company called JPMorgan Chase thrive in the future with great leadership, great management, and treat people ethically, be responsible corporate citizens, do a great job for customers, win share. That'll just make me feel great. And the other one is to help my country a little bit.
I'm a patriot before I'm the CEO of JPMorgan, which is why I'm-- I'm much more engaged in policy. I think we have to fix the policy errors in America holding us back. We have to fix them.
ANDY SERWER: And last question, this conversation often revolves around influence. And so I want to ask you how you see using your influence on the world, Jamie?
JAMIE DIMON: Yeah, as best I can. You know, people often say, well, what if this doesn't work, you fall flat on your face? I say, I don't care about that. You know, you go and do the best you can, you know? And you try to help countries around the world. You can't agree with everything everyone says.
But you know, people say, why do you go see President Trump? No, I'm going to help him do the best I can, because I want to help America as best I can and where I can. I'm not an expert in other areas. But I can-- some areas I know quite a bit, and so I'll do the best I can. And if it works, it works. And it doesn't, at least I'll rest in peace knowing I tried.
ANDY SERWER: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, thanks very much for your time.
JAMIE DIMON: Thank you.
ANDY SERWER: I'm Andy Serwer. You've been watching "Influencers." We'll see you next time.