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Jamie Dimon: Donald Trump deserves ‘some’ credit for the strong economy

Jamie Dimon, who has criticized Donald Trump in the past, has been won over by the president when it comes to economic policies like corporate tax cuts and deregulation.

In a new interview, the JPMorgan Chase (JPM) chief executive said Trump deserves “some” credit for the strong economic performance of the U.S. during his first term.

“All my liberal New York friends would never agree with me. But the fact is, we needed tax reform,” says Dimon, who chairs the CEO Roundtable and discussed economic policy with Trump in a meeting at the White House earlier this month.

The tax cut slashed the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, which Dimon credited for making the U.S. more competitive with other countries in efforts to attract industry.

He acknowledged that corporations have put some of their tax savings toward stock buybacks, but he emphasized the importance of a long-term outlook on capital reinvestment.

“Some is going to stock buybacks and all that, but that's capital,” Dimon says. “That's just giving capital back to be reinvested. The real benefit is cumulative reinvestment in the United days over the next 20 years, and that will be substantial.”

“Regulatory reform, we needed. And don't think of banks. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the whole American public knows. Mind numbing, paperwork, red tape, and bureaucracy — it's making it harder to build homes, to build bridges, to start businesses.”

Amid a trade spat with China and tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the Dow has stood largely steady near record highs this week. In a tweet on Monday, Trump said, The Dow could be “thousands of points” higher, if the “Fed had gotten it right,” returning to his call for Fed Chair Jerome Powell to cut the central bank’s benchmark interest rate.

Dimon made the comments to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that aired on Yahoo Finance in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

Over the last couple years, Dimon has aired mixed reviews of the Trump presidency.

Dimon appeared to obliquely criticize Trump in April in his annual shareholder letter, which suggested that American political leadership had worsened global instability.

“It’s always difficult to understand the effect of geopolitical uncertainty,” Dimon wrote. “But it is now heightened due to uncertainty around how the United States intends to exercise global Leadership.”

Last September, Dimon criticized Trump at an event in New York City. “I think I could beat Trump... because I'm as tough as he is, I'm smarter than he is,” Dimon said. “And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money. It wasn't a gift from daddy.”

He apologized for the comments soon afterward.

Dimon and Trump have nevertheless sustained a working relationship, as Dimon noted when describing a meeting between the two at the White House earlier this month.

“I went with a bunch of other CEOs and we covered a wide range of subjects,” he says. “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 does things we don't like, we disagree with, we're pretty vocal on that, too,” he adds.

Andy Serwer is editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @serwer.

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