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This year's market activity, including the upheaval earlier this month, has translated into strong business for J.P. Morgan Chase.
Daniel Pinto, the firm's co-president and head of its investment bank, said trading was strong for the first few weeks of this year as clients stepped up amid the rise in volatility. Trading results could get a "high single-digit" boost for the quarter, he said during a question-and-answer session at the bank's annual investor outlook on Tuesday.
Last month, J.P. Morgan reported fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations despite a $2.4 billion charge related to tax cuts and a challenging trading environment in its investment bank.
Current economic and business conditions indicate that recession isn't likely around the corner, according to J.P. Morgan Chase CFO Marianne Lake, who also spoke at the meeting.
"Overall, the risk of recession does not seem particularly high," she said.
Last month, J.P. Morgan announced plans to spend $20 billion over five years to raise hourly pay for some workers, add jobs and open 400 branches in new markets.
CEO Jamie Dimon, the highlight of the morning-long presentation, offered up his view that some features of life in a publicly traded company are stupid. For starters, he said, annual shareholder meetings have been hijacked by people with political agendas. The meetings have become "a complete waste of time," he said, "a joke."
He also said he is going to try to get corporate chiefs to "dump" the practice of making quarterly earnings forecasts. "I hear a lot of CEOs complain about quarterly earnings pressure," Dimon said. "I think it's a good idea to dump" making forecasts.