JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said Thursday the bank was working with struggling oil companies to help them though the fallout from depressed crude prices.
“You don’t run and hide when things get a little bit bad,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” on the sidelines of the bank’s annual CEO summit. “I want to go to Houston in a year, and have the people in Houston say, ‘JPMorgan, thank you for sticking by us.'”
But he acknowledged: “You’re going to see bankruptcies and problems” in the oil patch as the market rebalances.
“The future curve shows oil at $40 [per barrel]. Eventually, supply and demand will sort out,” he continued. “It’s confusing to figure out how it’s going to happen. But it will eventually happen.”
Dimon says negative rates in US not in cards
Dimon said he does not see negative interest rates happening in the United States, even though they are now being used in Europe and Japan.
“In the United States, I don’t think [negative rate policy] is in the cards,” he predicted. “Overseas, I don’t think it’s going to work that well. I think it’s going to have a lot of unintended consequences.”
Besides negative rates, investors are worried about the unwinding of quantitative easing and the economic slowdown in China, Dimon said.
“The market is sometimes irrational and sometimes rational” about such worries, he reflected. “I’m not going to diminish those concerns. But if China grows at 4 percent or 5 percent, and American is growing at 2 percent, that’s a good thing.”
While concerns remain about the pace of U.S. economic growth, there are reasons for optimism, Dimon said, citing more people working and wages starting to rise.
“[The consumer] balance sheet is in better shape since it’s been recorded,” he said. “They’re buying cars at all time records. Home sales are going up. Household formation is going up. That’s pretty good.”
But he said: “We all want to be better to lift up more people.”
Dimon to candidates: Embrace compromise
Addressing the 2016 presidential race, Dimon said voters, regardless of their political views, should work to understand both sides. “I don’t really care personally about Democrats [or] Republicans. I think everyone should read the other side, understand the other side, [and] collaborate,” said Dimon, who’s historically been a Democrat.
Without naming names, he issued a rebuke of the political landscape. “We extol George Washington and Abe Lincoln. And they are gods. But they did not denigrate people. They didn’t demoralize people. They didn’t scapegoat people.”
“They worked with people. And they compromised and collaborated to do the best thing for the people,” he said.
Railing against the gridlock in Washington, Dimon said: “The world is not binary.”
He urged leaders from both parties to follow the examples of their forefathers. “Some of these things, if we sit down, we’ll find a solution. And we’ll make it better.”