JPMorgan Chief Jamie Dimon Addresses the ESG Backlash

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said on Wednesday that he would now “punch back” over Texas’s 2021 efforts to restrict the state’s business with financial firms that embrace environmental, social and governance policies.

Texas passed two laws in 2021 that limit the state’s work with banks that regulators determine restrict their work in the energy and firearms industries. JPMorgan spent much of 2022 on the sidelines from underwriting municipal bonds in the state.

Mr. Dimon has called the Texas laws bad for business, highlighting the work the bank does to fund schools, hospitals and other businesses.

“I don’t know exactly why they’re upset with us and they’ll probably reconsider that at one point,” Mr. Dimon said, speaking at the DealBook summit in Manhattan.

Mr. Dimon also addressed a wide range of topics including the economy, geopolitics and Elon Musk. He expanded on previous comments he had made in which he called our current moment one of the most dangerous in decades. The biggest risks for mankind, he said, are “nuclear proliferation, climate change, and another pandemic.”

“We should not be complacent,” Mr. Dimon said. “The world is always a dangerous place. We just forgot.”

Mr. Dimon said his other concerns included what would happen if China invaded Taiwan — a move he said would cause a “major depression” — and profligate U.S. government spending, which he likened to “drugs injected directly into our system.”

When pressed on the bank’s relationship with ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok that various states have sought to ban over its Chinese ties, Mr. Dimon said that while the bank did not comment on client relationships, it did thorough vetting.

He said that if clients were “doing things that we think are truly bad,” JPMorgan would not bank them.

As for politics, Mr. Dimon said he urged even “very liberal Democrats” to help the Republican candidate Nikki Haley. He did not take the position that the nominee should be anyone but Donald Trump.

“He might be the president,” Mr. Dimon said. “I have to deal with that, too.”

Mr. Dimon was also asked about the bank’s lawsuit against Elon Musk over a 2018 tweet. “We’ll win,” Mr. Dimon said of the suit.


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