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Jamie Dimon sets his bank up to be China punchline

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MELBOURNE, Nov 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Maybe Jamie Dimon discovered one thing about President Xi Jinping’s sense of humour throughout his latest go to to Hong Kong. The JPMorgan (JPM.N) boss was clearly simply searching for a chuckle learn extra on Tuesday when he stated he’d wager that his bank would outlast China’s Communist Party, following up with, “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.” As others can attest, nonetheless, the blowback from Beijing after perceived slights is commonly no laughing matter.

Dimon is not any stranger to impolitic remarks. He harangued regulators together with then-Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke about post-financial disaster guidelines. In 2018, he stated he might beat then-President Donald Trump in an election. In 2012, he described an enormous JPMorgan buying and selling scandal as a “complete tempest in a teapot.”

UBS (UBSG.S), for one, is aware of all too effectively what can occur when a seemingly innocuous remark is blown out of proportion. Back in 2019, one of many Swiss bank’s senior economists landed himself and his employer in sizzling water after a comment about meals inflation and swine fever was misconstrued as a racist slur. He was suspended for 3 months and UBS misplaced a plum position on a bond deal for a state-backed shopper.

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Italian vogue big Dolce and Gabbana’s mainland enterprise suffered closely after a 2018 collection of promotions featured a Chinese mannequin attempting to eat pizza and pasta with chopsticks. Qantas (QAN.AX), Zara and Marriott International (MAR.O) are amongst those that bumped into issues after figuring out Taiwan as a rustic of their advertising and marketing and web sites.

JPMorgan may not be a family model in China, nevertheless it has labored arduous to put itself on agency footing there. It was one of many first abroad banks allowed to totally personal its home funding bank, and final week Dimon was the primary Wall Street boss to go to the area for the reason that pandemic started. He was even exempted from Hong Kong’s three-week resort quarantine. learn extra

Beijing’s response, if there’s one, may not be instantly apparent. Invitations to pitch for offers can get misplaced within the put up or new approvals sought by the bank might drop to the underside of a bureaucratic pile. Dimon will know quickly sufficient whether or not he turned his bank right into a Chinese punchline.

Follow @AntonyMCurrie and @JennHughes13 on Twitter

CONTEXT NEWS

– JPMorgan chief government on Nov. 23 joked that the bank would last more than the Chinese Communist Party.

– He made the remark whereas talking at a Boston College occasion, saying: “I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year – so is JPMorgan. I’d make a bet that we last longer.”

– He then added: “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.”

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Column by Antony Currie in Melbourne and Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong. Editing by Jeffrey Goldfarb and Katrina Hamlin

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Reuters Breakingviews is the world’s main supply of agenda-setting monetary perception. As the Reuters model for monetary commentary, we dissect the massive enterprise and financial tales as they break around the globe day by day. A worldwide workforce of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and different main cities offers professional evaluation in actual time.

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