JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon says that bad policies are holding the U.S. back.
“I think we’re growing at 2% in spite of the bad policy that we have,” Dimon said at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference.
“And I made a list. We can’t build bridges. It takes ten years to build a bridge. We’re not training our kids in inner-city schools. Our corporate tax system is unbelievably uncompetitive. It’s been that way for years. It’s driving capital and brains overseas. Our immigration system is driving brains overseas. We should keep all the people who earn advanced degrees and college degrees here. And our work labor force participation — just take one cohort — men 25 to 55 is down 10% from 30 years ago. And don’t tell me that is the new normal. There’s something wrong.”
Dimon said if the U.S. “did things right” it would be growing at 3% GDP.
“This growth, by the way, that we’ve had the last eight years, it’s averaged a little less than 2%, it’s half of the norm. OK, so it’s a long recovery, but it’s half of what we’d have in a normal recovery.”
Another thing holding the U.S. back is regulations. He argued that they’re “crippling” small businesses.
“I make that list and say, ‘don’t tell me it’s the new normal.’ It’s our policies. That’s what’s doing it to us. We should change our policies for the good of all America.”
CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Dimon if he was optimistic that reforms will take place in D.C.
“I don’t know because you all have seen Washington. It’s a very difficult place,” Dimon said. “I urge the folks in Washington. We need collaboration, collective analysis, policy, to get stuff done.”
He added that the Trump administration’s agenda was the “right” one.
“[The] agenda the administration had come up with — corporate tax reform, infrastructure, regulatory reform, education, work skills —that is part of the right agenda. That’s what I was optimistic about.”
He pointed out that the odds put out by the bookmakers of “successful reforms” have been coming down.
“That doesn’t mean they’re not going to try,” he said, adding, “I think you have some very smart people trying to get stuff done. I’m not an expert in Washington. I don’t know if we will get done. We’ve got to do our part to try and help them get it done.”
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.