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Data: Fortune 500, Axios analysis of company statements, get the data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed/Axios

JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday a $30 billion investment over the next five years that the company says will address some of the largest drivers of the massive wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

  • The commitment makes the bank by far the largest monetary contributor to efforts by businesses to fight systemic inequality and racism in the U.S.

Why it matters: "JPMorgan essentially is setting an example of what to do," Andre Perry, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Axios.

  • JPMorgan is the country's largest bank but more importantly CEO Jamie Dimon is past chairman of the Business Roundtable, a group of nearly 200 CEOs at America's largest corporations, Perry said.
  • "If a fraction of the members of the Business Roundtable follow suit then you're talking about a more concrete effort than anything we've seen before."

Details: JPMorgan has earmarked $14 billion for new housing loans to Black and Latino borrowers plus...

  • $8 billion to increase affordable housing and homeownership in underserved communities.
  • $4 billion for mortgage refinancing.
  • $2 billion for small business lending.
  • $2 billion in philanthropic capital.

The bank also committed to increased hiring and investment in existing employees "to build a more equitable and representative workforce and hold executives accountable" as well as $50 million of deposits in minority-owned financial institutions.

  • All of the programs are designed to drive "an inclusive economic recovery and support Black, Latinx and other underserved communities," the bank said.

Say it with your chest: "Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history," Dimon said in a statement.

  • "We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It's long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

The big picture: The 100 largest American companies already had committed $3.33 billion since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, which was the largest sum in history toward fighting racism and closing the racial wealth gap.

  • JPMorgan increased that number tenfold with its announcement, bringing the total to $33.54 billion.
  • The three largest contributors are all banks, with Citigroup and Bank of America also having committed to each provide more than $1 billion to the cause.

Capital One this week launched a similar program with a $200 million, five-year commitment on top of the $10 million it pledged in June.

  • AT&T similarly announced a $10 million pledge to "Black and underserved communities" in addition to the $500,000 it committed in June.

What's next: "Certainly there is a precedent that’s being set," Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board, tells Axios.

  • "If you’re a corporation or especially a financial institution money is the easiest thing. But the hard thing is implementation, making sure that you’re actually having an effect. The execution is going to be very important."

By the numbers: JPMorgan's commitment amounts to about 16% of its 2019 profits for the next five years. The top 10 companies excluding JPMorgan committed an average of less than 2% of their 2019 profits.

  • The other 48 companies committed around 0.1% of 2019 profits.

Editor's note: Corrects to show Jamie Dimon is a leader of the Business Roundtable, rather than leading the organization. He was replaced as chairman by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon in January.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 13, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: Recovery and resilience after COVID-19

On Wednesday, January 13, Axios' Dan Primack and Dion Rabouin hosted a conversation on the future of equitable economic recovery, featuring Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and chef and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés. They unpacked the pandemic's impact on small businesses and minority communities and spotlighting efforts to create an inclusive economy.

José Andrés discussed the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality and food industry, stressing the survival of restaurants as a critical part of the U.S. economic recovery.

  • On the food industry's need for federal support: "Restaurants will open again, and the issue is: how many are we going to lose from today until the next three, six months, or one year until everything goes back to normal? We have to make sure that the federal government is behind those businesses that are badly affected by this pandemic."
  • On ensuring living wages for workers: "We need to make sure that ... the food industry is not an industry that lives on the fringe of almost poverty, but that every American employee, every restaurant worker will make a decent living."

Rep. Ro Khanna unpacked the pandemic's impact on rural and minority communities and outlined a strategy for the Federal Reserve Board to better target their efforts.

  • On having the Fed scrutinize how they've been lending: "[We need] to make sure that lending isn't concentrated just to financial institutions and large corporations, that they're using their regional banks to be regional economic development banks considering rural and minority communities."
  • On taking a long-term approach to economic recovery: "We need to infuse [the Small Business Administration] with loans. I would do $10 trillion over 10 years to have 200,000 more loans to small businesses across America."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Mastercard's strategic growth Vice Chairman and President Michael Froman who discussed the role of the private sector in times of crisis.

  • "The private sector can do a lot. And by this I mean not just philanthropy or corporate social responsibility or ESG efforts. As important as all of those are, the key is really getting companies to look at their products and services, technology and expertise and explore what they can do to have a positive social impact on a commercially sustainable basis."

Thank you Mastercard for sponsoring this event.

3 hours ago - World

Canada First Nation finds mass grave at another school site

A memorial around the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 4, honoring 215 Indigenous children found buried in an unmarked, mass grave at a one-time residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. Photo: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A First Nation in Canada said Wednesday "hundreds" of unmarked graves have been discovered at the site of a former residential school in the prairie province of Saskatchewan.

Of note: The Cowessess First Nation said in a statement the number of graves found are "the most significantly substantial to date in Canada" — suggesting it's more than the remains of 215 Indigenous children discovered last month at a former residential school site in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Biden replaces FHFA director after Supreme Court ruling

Mark Calabria, then-director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in 2020. Photo: Astrid Riecken/ Pool/Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday replaced the regulator who oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hours after a Supreme Court ruling enabled President Biden to oust the Trump appointee.

Why it matters: The removal of libertarian economist Mark Calabria as Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director gives Biden more control over the fate of Freddie and Fannie, "which play an outsize role in the housing market and are central to many homeowners' ability to afford homes," per the New York Times.