new York Jamie Dimon is doing damage control after a failed joke about China. At a Boston College event, the CEO of America’s largest bank, JP Morgan Chase, compared the institute to leadership in China.
“I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th birthday. This also applies to JP Morgan. I bet we will be around longer, ”said Dimon. “I can’t say that in China. But they are probably listening anyway. ”
The remark had caused a stir. Dimon was in Hong Kong on a one-day visit just last week. This makes him the first CEO of a major Wall Street bank to travel to Chinese territory since the pandemic began.
Now Dimon rowed back. “I regret the statement I shouldn’t have made. I tried to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company, ”Dimon clarified in a statement that was expanded a little later.
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“It is never right to joke or denigrate a group of people. Regardless of whether it is about a country, its leadership or parts of society and culture. ”This could prevent constructive and thoughtful discussions, which are currently“ more important than ever ”.
The longest serving CEO of a major US bank has been investing heavily in the world’s second largest economy for years. JP Morgan was the first American bank to gain full control of the securities business in China in August, which had previously been run as a joint venture. JP Morgan is also aiming for this with another joint venture.
Dimon has realized that he should not speak carelessly or disrespectfully about another country or its leadership, added a company spokeswoman. He supported a constructive and detailed economic dialogue with China. The bank stands by its China business.
Top managers who do business in China are generally reluctant to make critical statements about the country and its management – mainly out of fear of being excluded from important business deals. Dimon’s visit to Hong Kong also caused a stir because the CEO had received a special permit to circumvent the strict quarantine rules.
Dimon then met employees and regulators in London and Frankfurt. The CEO is not a fan of hybrid meetings and has therefore ordered the employees back to the offices early on, wherever the corona situation allowed.
It is not the first time that Dimon has regretted provocative statements. In 2018, for example, he made headlines after saying that he could beat then-US President Donald Trump in an election. “I’m just as tough as he is, and I’m smarter than him,” he said at the time and rowed back a little later.
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