JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon. Picture: REUTERS
JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon. Picture: REUTERS

New York — Jamie Dimon seems like a new man. In JPMorgan Chase’s quarterly earnings call with reporters on Friday, the biggest US bank’s CEO passed up chance after chance to criticise US President Donald Trump’s trade war, jawboning habit and temperamental relationship with his own Federal Reserve. Each time, Dimon sounded supportive.

He complimented the administration’s “negotiating tactic” on China and predicted a trade deal. He said the relationship between big business and the White House is “active and good”. And the same week Trump said the Fed had “gone crazy,” Dimon said he had “seen a president who wanted interest rates to go up.”

Things have changed in the past month. “I think I could beat Trump,” Dimon said at a September event that was supposed to celebrate his firm’s philanthropy. “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is.” A few hours later, Dimon backtracked completely — which didn’t stop the president from firing back on Twitter, calling him “a nervous mess”.

Dimon’s new tone is friendly. Even his quote atop the bank’s earnings statement gave a shout-out: “We are extremely excited to be expanding again, as smart regulatory policy and a competitive corporate tax system help us to deliver,” Dimon wrote. “We just opened our first branch in Washington, DC.”

With Michelle Davis

Bloomberg