JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon expressed frustration at the U.S. federal government during the company's earnings conference call Friday.
"It's almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid s--- we have to deal with in this country," Dimon said in response to an analyst question.
"Since the Great Recession, which is now 8 years old, we've been growing at 1.5 to 2 percent in spite of stupidity and political gridlock, because the American business sector is powerful and strong," he said. "What I'm saying is it would be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and were there not gridlock."
The executive of the U.S. banking giant cited travels to countries such as France, Argentina, Israel and Ireland. The U.S. has become "one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet" and "it's hurting the average American that we don't have these right policies," he said.
Dimon also blasted the press in a separate conference call Friday for focusing on the bank's quarterly results and missing the bigger picture.
Shares briefly fell more than 1.5 percent.
Despite the Republican majority in Congress, Washington has been caught in gridlock over a new health care bill, which is seen as a precursor to passing new legislation on tax reform. The Senate this week cut short its August recess by two weeks in order to deal with the debate.
In response to a separate question, Dimon said government regulation on banks was preventing economic growth, by keeping certain home buyers and small startups from getting funding.
"The counterfactual would have been that a trillion dollars or 2 trillion would have been lent out had these rules been changed five years ago," he said. "There's a false notion that all this stuff didn't hold back the economy. Yes, it did."
Here's most of the full rant:
Since the Great Recession, which is now 8 years old, we've been growing at 1.5 to 2 percent in spite of stupidity and political gridlock. Because the American business sector is powerful and strong, and is going to grow regardless of — people wake up in the morning, they want to feed their kids, they want to buy a home, they want to do things, the same with American businesses — what I'm saying is it would be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and were there not gridlock.
And thank you for pointing it out because I'm going to be a broken record until this gets done. We are unable to build bridges, we're unable to build airports, our inner city school kids are not graduating.
I was just in France, I was recently in Argentina, I was in Israel, I was in Ireland. We met with the prime minister of India and China. It's amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies to promote business and growth is good for the average citizens of those countries, for jobs and wages, and that somehow this great American free enterprise system, we no longer get it.
Corporate taxation is critical to that, by the way. We've been driving capital earnings overseas, which is why there's $2 trillion overseas benefiting all these other countries and stuff like that. So if we don't get our act together — we can still grow.
It's unfortunate, but it's hurting us, it's hurting the body politic, it's hurting the average American that we don't have these right policies. So no, in spite of gridlock we'll grow at maybe 1.5 or 2 percent.
I don't buy the argument that we're relegated to this forever. We're not. If this administration can make breakthroughs in taxes and infrastructure, regulatory reform —we have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet.
It's almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid s--- we have to deal with in this country. And at one point we all have to get our act together or we won't do what we're supposed to [do] for the average Americans.
And unfortunately people write about this saying like it's for corporations. It's not for corporations. Competitive taxes are important for business and business growth, which is important for jobs and wage growth. And honestly we should be ringing that alarm bell, every single one of you, every time you talk to a client.