Dimon, one of the most experienced and influential chief executives on Wall Street, quipped about the economy and other global issues during a wide-ranging call with investors, as originally reported by Yahoo! Finance. In addition to forecasting that inflation will not “dissipate that quickly” and pinning dismal consumer confidence on “partisan politics and a lot of leftover anger from COVID-19,” he appeared to push for a brand of “woke capitalism” that prioritizes economic opportunity.
“You can ignore the bad part of society. Not hire from them. Not drive through the parts of town. I think it is a mistake because our society is worse off if we don’t lift up everybody,” Dimon commented. “It is far more than woke capitalism.”
Dimon recently insisted that he is not “woke” but nevertheless defended “stakeholder capitalism” — the notion that companies have a mandate to involve themselves in social issues while maximizing profits for shareholders. Yet he argued last week that “it is a good thing to lift up our fellow citizens” through economic opportunity, since jobs “bring dignity,” lead to “household formation,” and “reduce crime.” Referring to high rates of youth unemployment in parts of Europe, Dimon added that such situations ensure those nations are “going to have a social problem.”
On the topic of climate change, Dimon contended that high energy prices are pushing many nations to rely upon coal — a phenomenon that could easily be averted through greater oil and gas production.
“We should focus on climate. The problem with that is because of high oil and gas prices, the world is turning back on their coal plants,” he remarked. “It is dirtier. Why can’t we get it through our thick skulls, that if you want to solve climate, it is not against climate for America to boost more oil and gas?”
The national average price of gasoline was $2.38 per gallon when President Joe Biden assumed office, according to the Energy Information Administration, and increased to $3.53 per gallon by the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prices surpassed $5.00 per gallon in early June before subsiding to $3.95 per gallon as of Tuesday, according to AAA. Yet the commander-in-chief nixed an expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline upon his entrance into office, while top White House officials have claimed that higher fuel prices will accelerate renewable energy adoption in the United States.
In a letter to shareholders written earlier this year, Dimon responded to the Russian invasion by calling for a new “Marshall Plan” — a callback to the World War II policies that rebuilt Europe — centered upon a diverse portfolio of American energy.
“While the United States is fairly energy independent, we need to increase our energy production and get more gas (in the form of liquefied natural gas) to Europe immediately,” he wrote. “Our work with all of our allies should include urging them to both increase their production and deliver some of it to Europe. To do this, we also need immediate approval for additional oil leases and gas pipelines, as well as permits for green energy projects … we cannot accomplish our goals with misguided and counterproductive policies.”
Meanwhile, Biden is preparing to sign the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion to combat “the existential crisis of climate change.”