The Financial Reality Laid Bare
In a staff memo written before the bank’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, Dimon said that the ongoing pandemic caused lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have “laid bare the reality that, even before the pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge,” MarketWatch reported.
Data released last week indicates that unemployment in the United States rose to the highest level since the Great Depression. Nonfarm payrolls contracted by 20.5 million workers in April.
Time To Roll Up Sleeves
Dimon is a regular commentator on social issues and addressed the inadequate preparation for the pandemic in his April letter to shareholders.
The JPMorgan chief executive said that high cost of health care, unequal access to education, litigation and regulatory systems that constrict growth of small businesses, failed immigration policies, and shortfalls in infrastructure plague the U.S.
Dimon singled out to the falling share of wages for the bottom 30% of the country’s population as a concern. He expressed hope that America would “roll up its sleeves” and fix these pressing issues.
The Pandemic Playbook
Calling for a need for a plan to address the pandemic, Dimon wrote, “There should have been a pandemic playbook.”
The playbook is politically contentious as last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had alleged that the Obama administration had left no such document in place. In response, Ronald Klain, the former White House Ebola response coordinator, tweeted, “Did the pandemic playbook really exist? Was it really a clearly marked "playbook"? Would it have helped? Here's the cover, and the table of contents. You decide.”
Dimon urged that every problem should have “detailed and nonpartisan solutions.”
On Helping Struggling Customers
Dimon defended JPMorgan’s extension of a small business rescue fund loan to Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) as well for helping its larger clients. The banker said JPMorgan had helped 1.5 million accounts that were struggling also refunded fee across its product line to all customers.
JPMorgan Price Action
JPMorgan shares traded 0.28% higher at $88.92 in the after-hours session on Tuesday. The shares had closed the regular session 1.97% lower at $88.67.
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