JPMorgan’s Dimon Tells Democrats to ‘Grow Up’


(Bloomberg) — After a politics-heavy couple of days — JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon’s comments yesterday that Democrats should “grow up” raised some eyebrows — the focus shifts to finance on day four of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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Highlights Thursday include a panel on uniting European markets with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing. We also have Bloomberg TV interviews with the heads of Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, Blackstone founder Steve Schwarzman and German Finance Minister Christian Lindner.

Bloomberg’s team of reporters is bringing you the highlights of what’s happening on the ground. You can sign up for our daily newsletter here. And if you’re in Davos, don’t forget to drop by Bloomberg House. Register here.

(Times CET)

Davos After Dark

A long queue of attendees waited for a spot at a McKinsey nightcap at the Ameron Hotel. Partners Sven Smit and Liz Hilton Segel enjoyed cocktails and food with global execs as a lively band dressed in silver and neon entertained the crowd, which included Unilever boss Hein Schumacher.

The festivities aren’t all fun and games for some. Samir Mastaki and his partner Irina Biss waited two years to get a room at the Belvedere Hotel to host a party featuring minestrone and other delicacies in a bid to launch a business idea selling Italy-themed networking.

It’s a big gamble. A room at the Belvedere — one of the top locations — can cost about 100,000 Swiss francs ($115,480) for just a few hours. And there’s competition everywhere.

The couple attracted a relatively small crowd compared to a throbbing adjacent event hosted by tech company Hedera. While the entrepreneurs are hoping for big-name sponsors next year, the event on Wednesday only got minor supporters and guests were initially asked for about 5,000 francs for a seat. Many snuck in for free.

Talk of the Town

Upbeat Orcel (10 a.m.)

Unicredit CEO Andrea Orcel was all optimism when he talked with Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg TV saying he’s certain he’ll hit promised targets and even “outperform.”

Asked about the latest M&A rumors involving his lender, he only joked he was positively surprised it hadn’t been Francine’s first question. He said that the bank isn’t buying Popolare di Sondrio shares.

Focus on Efficiency (9 a.m.)

The boss of Barclays has just been on Bloomberg Television talking about his lender’s upcoming investor day. C.S. Venkatakrishnan is keeping his cards close to his chest for now, but those investors hoping for a radical shake up to help rejuvenate its flagging share price might be disappointed.

Read More: Barclays CEO Defends Investment Bankers Ahead of Investor Day

Venkatakrishnan instead defended his firm’s investment bank, saying it had been “extraordinarily successful” and said his focus was on boosting efficiency.

Long Haul (9 a.m.)

Speaking at the Ukraine breakfast discussion Thursday morning, Polish President Andrzej Duda warned Europe to be prepared to support Ukraine for a long fight against Russia, and that help should include confiscating Russian assets.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the country’s leaders were “encouraged and reassured” after meetings in Davos. He added that if frozen assets in the UK, Luxembourg and Switzerland were seized, there would be enough money to fix all of Ukraine’s damaged infrastructure. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron reiterated that UK is with Ukraine for as long as it takes and said he hopes EU and US will unlock funds soon.

‘Grow Up’ Democrats (9 a.m.)

Dimon’s comments in a CNBC interview praising aspects of Donald Trump’s record in office will sting in the corridors of power in Washington and might reflect Wall Street’s openness to Trump 2.0.

“Just take a step back, be honest,” Dimon said. “He’s kind of right about NATO, kind of right about immigration, he grew the economy quite well.”

“He wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues and that’s why they’re voting for him,” he added, calling for more respect for Trump voters and urging people to think more about why citizens support him. “I think this negative talk about MAGA is going to hurt Biden’s election campaign,” Dimon said.

In Case You Missed It

  • ECB officials who until recently had been wary of even discussing interest-rate cuts now look increasingly open to commencing them in June.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron backed the issuance of joint European debt to pay for priorities including defense and technology in order to ensure Europe remains sovereign amid increasing competition with China and the US.

  • There’s a repeated refrain from bankers in Davos this week, including the likes of JPMorgan’s Daniel Pinto and Standard Chartered’s Bill Winters: rein in your rate cut expectations.

  • Too much debt — and the danger that global economies could take on even more of it — is troubling Davos participants confronting dangers posed by the year ahead.

AI Buzz

Accenture Hubs (8:30 a.m.)

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt is planning to meet with executives from technology giants like Inc. and Alphabet Inc. in Davos later today as part of a push to spur investment in Britain’s tech sector. It sounds like Accenture’s Julie Sweet is already on board.

“The UK is an absolutely critical market for us” and “we see the UK as being a very important place for us to invest over the long term,” Sweet, who leads the consultancy giant’s nearly 750,000-person workforce as chairman and chief executive officer, told Bloomberg TV.

Read More: Accenture to Open 10 AI Hubs Globally, Including One in London

One of the 10 generative AI “innovation hubs” Accenture plans to open globally will be in London, she added. Just months after shedding 19,000 workers, Sweet’s firm announced plans to double the number of staffers that specialize in AI to 80,000, part of a three-year, $3 billion investment in Accenture’s data and AI practice.

In the House

Green Disconnect (9 a.m.)

There’s plenty of money to be made by investing in the green energy transition, and financial professionals who say otherwise aren’t paying attention to the facts, according to Brookfield Asset Management Chair Mark Carney.

Read More: Carney Sees ‘Massive Disconnect’ in Green Finance Rhetoric

During a conversation at Bloomberg House on Wednesday, Carney, a former governor of the Bank of England who is also chair of Bloomberg Inc., highlighted what he called a “massive disconnect” between what some of the heavyweights of global finance are saying and the wave of money flowing into green projects.

–With assistance from Jessica Loudis, Jenny Surane, Tom Metcalf, Chiara Albanese and Kateryna Chursina.

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