Hypocritical JPMorgan Chase CEO Aids Gridlock He Criticizes
Jamie Dimon Claimed "It's Almost an Embarrassment Being an American," But Shareholder Activists Say He's "Part of the Problem"
Washington, D.C. - America's leading conservative shareholder activists say JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is "part of the problem" following his criticism of government dysfunction and the nation's economy. The National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project (FEP) points out that policies promoted by Dimon, through his leadership of JPMorgan Chase and the Business Roundtable, prove he must accept his share of the blame before criticizing others.
"Jamie Dimon is part of the problem of which he now complains. Much of his message about the need for the Washington bureaucracy to get out of the economy's way and let business and the American people prosper is correct, but he is the wrong person to be saying it," said National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. "From issues of climate change to the banking industry, Dimon and JPMorgan Chase have been the poster children for cronyism and using Washington to get ahead by receiving special treatment. At each turn, the National Center's Free Enterprise Project has been there to call out Dimon's duplicity."
During a July 14 call announcing JPMorgan Chase's second quarter earnings report, in response to an analyst's question about politics affecting economic growth, Dimon said Washington gridlock is "holding us back." He added that America has "become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet" and that "we have to get our act together or we don't do what we're supposed to do for the average Americans [sic]." He went so far as to say "[i]t's almost an embarrassment being an American citizen."
Danhof notes that Dimon, despite his tirade on that JPMorgan Chase-sponsored call, supports policies that can stifle economic growth. Most recently, Dimon clashed with President Donald Trump over the U.S. pulling out of the Paris climate accord. Similarly, he supported the 2008 bank bailout and opposes the Trump Administration's immigration policies.
Dimon is also chairman of the Business Roundtable, a group currently thought to support an anti-shareholder provision in legislation to replace Dodd-Frank banking regulation. Under consideration in the U.S. Senate, the "Financial Choice Act" would eviscerate efforts by conservative shareholders to file resolutions while increasing the influence left-leaning groups can have over corporate America. Leftist shareholder activism almost always promotes the kind of increased regulation Dimon criticized.
As Danhof explained in a recent Investor's Business Daily op-ed:
The Choice Act's apparent goal of reducing liberal agitation of corporate America may be noble, but be forewarned that the strategy laid out in the Financial Choice Act would likely have the opposite effect.
Changing shareholder resolution rules would reduce the total number of left-wing proposals appearing on corporate proxy statements, but it might also increase the clout and potential impact of those liberal proposals meeting the new threshold. And the left will indeed meet the new threshold...
In trying to reduce the progressive voice, the Financial Choice Act may instead hand the left a shiny new megaphone. While emboldening the left, it would eviscerate conservative shareholder resolution efforts.
FEP has attended JPMorgan Chase shareholder meetings in the past and filed a shareholder resolution in 2015 to protect the political freedom of company employees.
Launched in 2007, the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project is the nation's preeminent free-market activist group – focusing on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Since 2014, its representatives have participated in around 100 shareholder meetings to advance free-market ideals in health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers' rights and other important public policy issues. FEP's Employee Conscience Protection Project strengthened protections for the political beliefs and activities of over five million workers at 13 major U.S. corporations. During shareholder meetings, questioning by the FEP led company executives to acknowledge media bias at ABC News (Disney), the Washington Post and CNN (Time Warner).
FEP activity this year has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP's work was also featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel's 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.