& Co. JPM, -0.70% Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon released his annual letter to shareholders on Wednesday and, as is his custom, provided a comprehensive overview of the state of the world after a year of global pandemic. focusing on the hardships it has created for many and the widening wealth gap. In a sign of the many problems Dimon tried to address, the letter is 66 pages long. That makes it the longest shareholder missive it has ever produced, according to the New York Times.
“Our nation is clearly under a lot of stress and strain from various events – the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, which has claimed more American lives than the total lost in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. combined, resulting in serious financial problems for millions more, ”he said. Dimon also acknowledged “the brutal murder of George Floyd and the racial unrest that followed; the divisive 2020 presidential elections, which culminated in the storming of the Capitol and the attempt to disrupt our democracy; and the seemingly inevitable, but nonetheless alarming and disconcerting rise of China, which threatens the global prominence of the United States. “But the United States has” faced difficult times before, “he said, adding that the problems facing the country are solvable. But first, in Dimon’s opinion, the institutions that have lost the trust of the people – government, schools, media and companies – “must regain it and understand that the underlying problem is inequality.” The enormous wealth of our country it’s piling up for very few. ”Dimon’s economic outlook in the United States remains optimistic, despite the many challenges facing the world’s largest economy. He noted that the scope of the government‘s response to the crisis situation caused by the pandemic is much larger than the response to the 2008 financial crisis. “I have no doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, a huge outlay or deficit, plus QE, a potential new infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine, and euphoria toward the end of the pandemic, the US economy is likely. “This boom could easily reach 2023 because all spending could extend into well into 2023 “. Dimon, a member of the Business Roundtable board of directors, said stock market valuations are “quite high” even if a multi-year boom may justify those levels, as markets are pricing in growth and excess savings. However, he admitted that there is “some foam and speculation” in some parts of the market, without offering details. Dimon also intervened in the threat posed to banks by fintech and Big Tech, a “large and powerful shadow banking system” that is increasingly encroaching on traditional banking. He mentioned Amazon AMZN, -0.09%, Apple AAPL, + 0.25%, Facebook FB, -0.86%, Google GOOG, -0.04% GOOGL, -0.44% “and now Walmart WMT, + 0.48%” as emerging competitors that should be more strictly regulated. “As the importance of the cloud, artificial intelligence and digital platforms grows, this competition will become even more formidable. As a result, banks are playing a smaller and smaller role in the financial system, ”he said. But much of Dimon’s letter discussed the need for the United States to recognize the issues that have led to the widening wealth gap and to address the challenges of educating Americans and improving and making accessible a healthcare system that is still in existence. out of the reach of citizens. Many. Almost a decade after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 30 million Americans still do not have health insurance, and life expectancy has declined in the poorest and minority communities. See: Biden Says Aid Package Expands on ‘Obamacare’ by Cutting Health Insurance Costs “Our health and education woes come together in this alarming statistic: Seventy percent of today’s youth years) are ineligible for military service, essentially due to a lack of adequate education (basic reading and writing skills) or health problems (commonly obesity or diabetes), ”Dimon wrote. The United States also needs to reform its immigration policies and improve “poorly designed” social safety nets. Nearly 30% of American workers earn less than $ 15 an hour, which in itself is barely a living wage, Dimon’s letter notes. About 30% of Americans do not have savings of as little as $ 400 to deal with an emergency. “Governments, both federal and state, are fighting to keep open military bases we don’t need and Veterans Affairs hospitals running that don’t work, making the military more costly and less effective,” the letter said. Dimon called on leaders to move away from short-term thinking that is hampering progress in addressing important issues. “When you step back and take a comprehensive multi-year view, looking at the whole situation, it is the cumulative effect of many of our policies that has resulted in our current failures,” he wrote. Dimon called for a national plan to improve training for real-world jobs that will raise wages and improve labor force participation. He called for higher wages for low-skill jobs to allow the poorest people the ability to earn a middle-class income. “We need adequate, rigorous, multi-year budget, planning and reporting,” he said. “It is particularly important that most federal programs, such as the military, infrastructure and education, have good long-term plans and are accountable for executing them.” Read on: Biden Says His $ 2.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Will Create 19 Million Jobs; most would not require a college degree