PMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon lashed out at U.S. government policy during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call on Friday.
“It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen and listening to the stupid s— we have to deal with in this country,” Dimon said.
Dimon was answering a question from UBS analyst Saul Martinez about whether political gridlock seemed likely to stunt the nation’s economic growth. The CEO, regarded by many as the country’s foremost banking executive, took it as a chance to deride U.S. policies, which he said are hindering faster expansion.
“I was just in France. I recently in Argentina, was in Israel, was in Ireland. We met with the prime minister of India and China,” Dimon said. “It’s amazing to me that every single one of these countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth is good for the average citizens of this countries, for jobs and wages, and that somehow, this great American free enterprise system, we no longer get it.”
“The American business sector is powerful and strong, and it’s going to grow regardless,” he went on. “What I’m saying is, it will be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and we were not gridlocked.”
Specifically, Dimon cited U.S. corporate tax rates and a lack of progress in modernizing the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and other transportation infrastructure.
Some corporate chiefs have been pushing for a so-called tax holiday, something President Donald Trump has floated as a way to encourage companies with large overseas holdings to bring profits back into the U.S.
Many experts say letting U.S. multinationals repatriate their foreign profits is unlikely to spur economic growth. The last such holiday, in 2004, coincided with a large outflow of employment as corporations moved jobs to low-wage countries, federal data have shown.
JPMorgan Chase reported better-than-expected earnings last quarter, at $1.71 per share. UBS’ Martinez rated the stock a “buy.”