U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 38 mins

JPM's Jamie Dimon: Fed Chair Jerome Powell is a 'high-quality guy'

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon praised Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell as a "quality guy" amid President Trump's criticism of the central bank’s approach to monetary policy.

"I think Jay Powell is a high-quality guy. And the president has his own way of communicating," Dimon told Yahoo Finance's Andy Serwer in an exclusive interview at the unveiling of JPMorgan Chase's new flagship bank branch.

Trump has repeatedly slammed the Federal Reserve's decision to raise rates last year. In the past, he said the "only problem" with the U.S. economy is the Fed and that "they don't have a feel for the Market."

This week, Trump took to Twitter to claim the that the Federal Reserve "doesn't know what it's doing" and said that the central bank "blew it" by raising rates "far too fast."

In that pair of Tweets posted on Monday, the president added that the stock market would be "thousands of points higher on the Dow" and GDP growth would be in the "4's or even 5'" if the Fed "had gotten it right." Trump went on to say the Fed is "like a stubborn child" when it comes to rate cuts.

Like Powell has repeatedly emphasized, Dimon said that the central bank has to remain 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," he said.

Market participants are attempting to read what the Fed's next move might be, with many leaning toward the rate cut camp following the latest FOMC press conference on June 19.

‘Why’ is more important than ‘what’ they do

"[They] signaled that they can go either way at this point. You know, but 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 that the economy, that's not particularly so good. If they're cutting rates because they, you know, want to grow things faster, that may not be so bad. So it really depends," Dimon said.

He added that the Fed has to be data dependent in its decision-making.

"I mean, can you imagine the Fed saying, 'Doesn't make a difference what the data says, we're going to [do what] we feel like?'" Dimon said. "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."

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.