Jamie Dimon laid out a laundry list of big risks looming for the global and U.S. economy in his letter to JPMorgan Chase shareholders on Monday.
Dimon’s annual letter has become something of a tradition for JPMorgan investors as well as the public. Never too shy to share his thoughts on anything, the CEO and chairman of JPMorgan often uses his shareholder letter to not only discuss ongoing challenges for the bank but also political or social issues that he feels need to be addressed.
“We are facing challenges at every turn: a pandemic, unprecedented government actions, a strong recovery after a sharp and deep global recession, a highly polarized U.S. election, mounting inflation, a war in Ukraine, and dramatic economic sanctions against Russia,” he wrote.
The letter is a contrast to last year’s version when vaccines were rolling out nationwide and it appeared like the U.S. economy was accelerating out of the pandemic-caused economic turmoil.
Dimon spent much of the latest letter discussing the issue of inflation, which has accelerated sharply in the past year and is now at four-decade highs. He warned that the war in Ukraine could accelerate inflation due to higher food and energy costs.
He also put some blame on the Federal Reserve, which now faces a need to increase interest rates sharply this year to combat inflation.
“The Federal Reserve and the government did the right thing by taking bold dramatic actions following the misfortune unleashed by the pandemic. In hindsight, it worked. But also in hindsight, the medicine … was probably too much and lasted too long.”
“I do not envy the Fed for what it must do next: The stronger the recovery, the higher the rates that follow,” he added.
Dimon, who has long advocated for the U.S. to rebuild its infrastructure and put money into energy independence by developing oil and gas assets domestically, said the war in Ukraine should be seen as yet another reason why being reliant on foreign sources of oil is not good for the U.S. and its allies.
“Disruptions to the global energy system are again highlighting our urgent global need to provide energy resources securely, reliably, and affordably and, at the same time, address long-term clean energy solutions and strategies to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.
JPMorgan will report its quarterly results next week, the start of earnings season for most of corporate America. Investors will be looking for banks to discuss the impact of the war as well as any bank exposure to Russia and Ukraine.