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JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon on China, immigration and cyber threats

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon says existing laws are not enough to protect the U.S. and global financial system from security breaches.

Cybersecurity "is a critical issue, not just for financial companies but also for utilities, technology companies, electrical grids and others," Dimon said in an annual letter to shareholders released Thursday. "It is an arms race, and we need to do whatever we can to protect the United States of America." 

Calling cyber law in the U.S. "inadequate," the head of the nation's biggest bank called for changes that would allow Chase and other financial institutions "to work even closer with our government in real time to properly protect the financial system."

The problem is also an opportunity for Chase and others. "Data privacy and security should be a way in which we and other businesses compete to serve customers," wrote Dimon, who addressed many issues in his 46-page letter. 

Dimon's call to action comes a day after Facebook (FB) revealed that data on most of its 2 billion users worldwide had been collected by "malicious actors, the largest example in a slew of entities -- including municipalities and companies -- dealing with security breaches and compromised data. 


"Senseless and misguided policies" are hindering U.S. economic growth, wrote Dimon, who noted that 40 percent of students, or 300,000 each year, earn advanced degrees in the U.S., but have no legal route to stay, which in his view "means one of our largest exports in brainpower."

The nation must resolve immigration, as it is "tearing apart our body politic and damaging our economy," said Dimon, who urged a path to citizenship for the roughly 2 million "dreamers" who entered the country as undocumented children. 

That said, Dimon also said nothing will be done if the American public does not believe the country is protecting its borders.


Dimon deemed "legitimate" President Donald Trump's gripes about China. Still, miscalculations could spark negative outcomes, creating "higher risk and more uncertainty until resolved," he noted.

Saying "bad thinking often leads to bad policy," Dimon called for listening to opposing points of view and working with experts "who know the most about a subject."

Federal Reserve

Dimon pointed to the possibility that the Federal Reserve and central banks around the globe might have to increase interest rates more rapidly than expected, "reacting to the markets, not guiding the markets."

As Dimon wrote: "I believe that many people underestimate the possibility of higher inflation and wages, which means they might be underestimating the chance that the Federal Reserve may have to raise rates faster than we all think."


The 62-year-old Dimon reiterated that he intends to remain CEO for approximately five more years, but said several highly capable successors are already in place.

JPMorgan named Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith as co-presidents and chief operating officers earlier in the year. 

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