Jamie Dimon Enters Warren-Billionaires Debate: ‘She Uses Some Pretty Harsh Words’

Investing

Topline: In the latest sign that Wall Street is going after Elizabeth Warren, who is perceived as a threat to big business, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon became the latest billionaire to complain about the senator’s attacks on the ultrarich.

  • Dimon said in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday that Warren “uses some pretty harsh words” against billionaires that “vilifies successful people,” and that instead, he thinks “we should applaud successful people.”
  • Dimon’s remarks come the day after billionaire Leon Cooperman escalated his ongoing feud with Warren in an interview with CNBC on Monday, in which he criticized her “vilification” of the ultrarich, calling it “complete and total bull.” 
  • After decades running some of the biggest lenders in the U.S., Dimon is himself a billionaire, worth $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
  • The JPMorgan Chase CEO also said that Warren’s proposed Accountable Capitalism Act would alter “the complete nature of how you run a corporation,” though she argues it would bring greater accountability to corporate governance.
  • Dimon instead reiterated his support for a negative income tax to incentivize workers and cautioned against large policy changes as the answer to the country’s economic problems: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions when it comes to policy,” he said.

Crucial quote: “I think we have to look at [how] America was founded on free enterprise; freedom and free enterprise are interchangeable,” Dimon told CNBC.

Key background: Wall Street is worried about the possibility of a Warren presidency, with several billionaires predicting a significant stock market sell-off should the Massachusetts Senator gain the presidency in 2020. The now very-public feud between Warren and Cooperman that began last week exemplifies the backlash that has appeared since the 2020 hopeful announced her wealth tax, which she says could finance her ambitious “Medicare For All” plan. Cooperman has told Politico that Warren’s rhetoric against billionaires is “sh*tting” on the “f*cking American dream,” while Warren responded by saying Cooperman should “pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream.”

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