JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said the U.S. economy would thrive next year if lawmakers reach an agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases.
“You might have a booming economy in a couple of months,” with economic growth accelerating to 4 percent rather than 2 percent, Dimon said today at a conference in New York hosted by the New York Times’s DealBook. With unemployment falling and housing on the rebound, “the table is set very well right now,” he said.
Dimon, 56, urged lawmakers to reach a compromise that would avoid the package of more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January. President Barack Obama reduced his demand for higher taxes to $1.4 trillion from $1.6 trillion as he and House Speaker John Boehner traded another round of offers.
The two sides remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart on taxes and spending, and they continue to disagree on whether a year-end deal should include an increase in the debt limit and fresh programs to boost the economy.
Dimon said if an agreement were reached, the U.S. economy could generate 300,000 jobs a month. That’s about twice as many as the average monthly gain for the past year. He said any increases in tax rates should be linked to “rational” spending cuts.
“Corporations, middle-market companies, small businesses are in good shape, 5 million more people are working than four years ago, housing has turned the corner,” Dimon said. “Let’s just keep it going.”
Dimon also said Obama should enlist people with business experience in his cabinet, though he said he’s not personally suited to take a job such as Treasury secretary.
“I would like to see the cabinet have some people who are deeply involved in business,” Dimon said.
Obama has said he would “love” to pick a business leader for his economic team in the second term, though talented executives may be discouraged from serving by the U.S. Senate confirmation process. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett suggested last month that Dimon would be best to lead the Treasury Department in a crisis.