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JPMorgan C.E.O. Jamie Dimon has a long history of claiming he’s not running for president, despite saying and doing things that make it sound like he’s one Saturday morning away from driving a van out to the suburbs and plastering lawn signs all over unwitting residents’ front yards. For instance, he has described himself at various points as “a proud American,” a “complete patriot,” and “a patriot before I’m the chairman and C.E.O. of JPMorgan.” He has put it out there that his priorities in order of most to least important are “family first, country second, JPMorgan literally last.” He is prone to turns of phrase that would just so happen to make perfect campaign-ad sound bites, such as “America is the best country on the planet,” and, “There’s nothing like this country. It is the shining city on a hill.” In September 2016, the words “I would love to be president of the United States of America” escaped his mouth. Earlier this year, he predicted that Democrats “will not have a chance” in 2020 unless they find “a strong centrist, pro-business, pro-free enterprise [candidate],” stopping just short of saying that said candidate should be been born in Queens, raised on the Upper East Side, and possess a full-bodied head of salt-and-pepper hair.
At the time, despite basically claiming he’s the only one who can save the Republic from eight years of Donald Trump, a representative from the bank insisted that, “Jamie is not running for president.” But just so you know, if he was running—which he’s totally, definitely not—he would kick Donald Trump’s ass from here to Jackson Heights, which by the way was a much rougher neighborhood than Jamaica Estates, if anyone out there is writing origin stories.
“I think I could beat Trump,” Dimon said Wednesday during an event held at his bank’s Park Avenue headquarters in New York. “Because I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn’t work with me. I’d fight right back.
[I] said this before Trump was elected. You’re not going to get a wealthy New Yorker elected president. Boy I was dead wrong. And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker [pointing to himself] actually earned his money. It wasn’t a gift from Daddy. And I grew up in a poorer part of Queens than he did, but I am a banker. I am part of the elite. He . . . I don’t think the American public looks at Trump as part of the elite. They look at him as the upstart who punched the elite in the nose every day. And so I think . . . I think I could beat Trump.”
Of course, pointing out that one is smarter than an objectively very stupid man does not necessarily mean that one is running for president. (Nor does being born into a family of stockbrokers make you the salt of the earth.) Within an hour of making his remarks, Dimon released an apologetic statement claiming he was merely speaking theoretically. “I’m not running for president,” he said. “Proves I wouldn’t make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems.”
Anyway, stay tuned for next week when Dimon—who, incidentally, has handed over more day-to-day responsibilities to his lieutenants—says in an interview with CNBC that his exploratory committee shows voters are hungry for a sixtysomething financial-services employee who can fill out a pair of Wrangler jeans and has talked about opening a bar on the U.E.S. after retiring . . . but he’s not running, so shut up about it, ya knuckleheads!
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Mick Mulvaney thinks you bums should pay back your crippling student debt faster
Mick Mulvaney, who as acting director of the C.F.P.B. thought the most important thing he could do was ease restrictions on loan sharks, and who works for a guy who has literally referred to himself as the “King of Debt,” believes people who aren’t actively paying down their student debt are destroying the moral fabric of society:
Mulvaney . . . told CNBC there appears to be a “disconnect” among many college students when it comes to the “making of a loan” and “repaying of a loan.”
“I think people don’t pay as much attention about paying the loan back,” Mulvaney told CNBC‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin on Squawk Box. “That worries me from a financial standpoint and a moral standpoint.”
“If we teach an entire generation of people that the first major loan they take out, they don’t have to pay back, I’m worried about the long-term impact of that,” added Mulvaney, who was accused by a former C.F.P.B. official in August of quashing a report highlighting “legally questionable” fees charged on college students’ bank accounts. (According to Mulvaney, the accuser just wanted “get his name in the paper.”)
Scott Pruitt is in talks for his first post-E.P.A. gig
We’ll give you two guesses as to what it might be, but you’ll only need one:
Pruitt, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is in discussions to work as a consultant to the Kentucky coal-mining tycoon Joseph W. Craft III, according to two industry executives familiar with the plans.
If Kraft’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Pruitt met with him at least seven times during his first 14 months as E.P.A. administrator, and gifted Pruitt with some sweet courtside seats to a University of Kentucky basketball game back in December. While Trump’s “ethics pledge” bars Pruitt from directly lobbying the E.P.A. for five years, there’s nothing preventing him from working as a private consultant to Kraft’s Alliance Resource Partners, advising the company on “E.P.A. related matters.”
Trump’s tariffs continue to be a great idea
Just kidding! Per Bloomberg:
The U.S. economy is expanding at a moderate pace with tight labor-market conditions and rising input costs partly due to trade disruptions, a Federal Reserve survey said.
“Tariffs were reported to be contributing to rising input costs, mainly for manufacturers,” according to the Fed report, released Wednesday in Washington.
According to Philadelphia Fed, almost two-thirds of businesses polled said that “price hikes and/or supply disruptions had already occurred or were anticipated because of tariffs,” with a “typical response” going something like, “Tariffs have put us out of business on certain products and are a cloud on every facet of our business planning.”
Trump was a horrible, evil businessman, part 938,518
From the guy who brought you sprinklers are an unnecessary waste of money who cares if they might save people in the event of a fire comes no hideous eyesore of mine is going to have Braille in it, thankyouverymuch. Per The Washington Post:
President Trump in the early 1980s asked an architect to remove Braille from planned residential elevators in Trump Tower in New York, saying blind people would not live there, according to a former longtime executive with the Trump Organization.
Barbara Res, a former vice president in charge of construction, made the allegation in an op-ed published Wednesday by the New York Daily News and in a subsequent interview with The Washington Post, in which she said the incident happened in 1980 or 1981 as Trump Tower was being designed.
According to Res, Trump told an architect to “get rid of” the Braille he’d included in designs for elevators in Trump Tower. The architect resisted, saying it would be against the law. “Get rid of the (expletive) Braille. No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower. Just do it,” Trump allegedly responded, because he’s just that much of a colossal prick. (The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hive.)
Policymakers Saved the Financial System. And America Never Forgave Them. (N.Y.T.)
U.S. Asks China for New Round of Trade Talks Led by Mnuchin (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley says a multi-year bear market is already here as earnings growth wanes (CNBC)
New York overtakes London as world’s top financial center (Reuters)
Uber Accused of Saving $500 Million a Year by Cheating Drivers (Bloomberg)
Tesla investor says S.E.C. asked it about “funding secured” tweet (Reuters)
Household income back to pre-recession level, Census says (Politico)
How Bank Workers Emerged From the Crash $12.5 Billion Richer (CNBC)
Novelist who wrote about “How to Murder Your Husband” charged with murdering her husband (Washington Post)