Apr 8, 2024 - Business

Jamie Dimon's shareholder letter shows glimpse of Pugnacious Neoliberalism

Jamie Dimon

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon uses his annual shareholder letter, out Monday morning, to set out a global agenda for what might be called Pugnacious Hegemonic Neoliberalism: Pro-America, pro-military, pro-trade, pro-capitalism, pro-DEI, anti-China.

Why it matters: Since Dimon took the helm as JPMorgan's CEO 20 years ago, he has steadily reinvented himself. Today, the technocrat-turned-thought leader has become, for all intents and purposes, a politician. The only question is whether he aspires to actual political office.

The big picture: Dimon's 61-page manifesto will be more palatable to Democrats than to MAGA Republicans; it even reprints in full a 1992 Wall Street Journal column by George McGovern, whom Dimon describes as "one of the most liberal presidential nominees in our lifetime."

  • That said, Dimon takes care to put Donald Trump's favorite phrase in bold italics. "Ukraine's struggle is our struggle, and ensuring their victory is ensuring America first," he writes.

"Every time I see the American flag, it reminds me of the values and virtues of this country and its founding principles conceived in liberty," writes Dimon, in language not often seen in the annual reports of multinational financial-services conglomerates.

  • "In the rest of this section, I try to answer the question: What must we do to ensure that the world stays safe, not only for America but for freedom and democracy?"
  • "Only America has the full capability to lead and coalesce the Western world," Dimon adds. "There is nothing more important."

Between the lines: Dimon finds space to devote four pages of his letter to a full-throated defense of diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • JPM's Advancing Black Pathways program, he writes, "focuses on strengthening the economic foundation of Black communities because we know that opportunity is not always created equally."

The bottom line: In terms of foreign policy, Treasury Secretary Jamie Dimon would be entirely aligned with Joe Biden.

  • Don't expect him to be aligned, however, with a bank-regulation regime he describes as "duplicative, inconsistent, procyclical, contradictory, extremely costly, and unnecessarily painful."
Go deeper