Dimon Speaks on Financial Reform at World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum continues its five-day annual meeting on Tuesday with a lineup of sessions focused on risk and growth. The forum is meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the top issues facing the world right now. As it stands, many, if not most, of them are economic problems, and the agenda is packed with conversations on the financial industry, capitalism, and global economy.
Heading into the event, Professor Klaus Schwab, chairman of the forum, indicated the different U.S. and European debt crises as top issues to address this week. Schwab believes that the world is still in crisis mode, but that many major economies are showing the early stages of a recovery.
The forum wasted no time diving into hot issues. At an early session on the global financial context, moderator Maria Bartiromo, an anchor and managing editor at CNBC, asked JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon if financial institutions like his could come back from the bad sentiment and misdeeds of the past.
“Everyone I know is trying to do a good job for their clients,” Dimon responded. The bank’s multi-billion-dollar loss in 2012 was featured in a dramatic video that kicked off the morning session, and Dimon seemed eager to leave the loss where it was, and move on. He suggested that most banks and business have already come back from whatever crisis plagued them.
“Life goes on,” he said, apologizing to shareholders but reminding observers that the bank still delivered record results. Min Zhu, deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund, picked up the conversation, saying that a recovery in the financial sector is defined by more than profits. This is a particularly poignant issue for the IMF, which is still dealing with tremendous economic fallout in Europe.
Zhu suggested that some financial products have become too complicated to use or regulate safely, and that transparency is still a key issue. When the moderator asked the audience if they agreed that the financial sector is too big, most did not raise their hands.
The panel on the global financial context continued for an hour (full video here), and set the stage for the types of conversations that will be had at the conference. Later in the day, participants will be discussing the role of government in the economy, the status of the labor market, and where China will be in 2020.
Investing Insights: Is TD Ameritrade Sending Mixed Signals?