Jamie Dimon 2020 JP Morgan Chase Letter

Over the weekend I got a chance to catch up with Jamie Dimon’s shareholder letter for 2020. There’s a lot there, and I don’t agree with all of it, but there was a significant amount of good sense, especially the emphasis on economic growth. My favorite nuggets:

Democrats should acknowledge Republicans’ legitimate concerns that money sent to Washington often ends up in large wasteful programs, ultimately offering little value to local communities. They could acknowledge that while we need good government, it is not the answer to everything. Democrats could also acknowledge that a healthy fear of a large central government is not irrational (like a Leviathan)….

Capitalism has lifted billions of people out of poverty. Capitalism, and the continuous and free movement of capital and, more important, of human talent, in the pursuit of happiness (the invisible hand of Adam Smith), creates a continuous exchange of information and ideas – and constant innovation. …

The cost of the now over 1 million federal regulations is estimated at approximately $14,000 per household. And while we want good regulations and good “guardrails,” there is an excessive amount of licensing, paperwork, employment laws and insurance requirements, and anyone who deals with the application process knows how wasteful and unnecessary it can be. Red tape like this cripples small businesses and, worse, reduces the formation of new enterprises. Very often local regulations are simply a form of low-level corruption in which bureaucrats are paid to slowly … move … paper … around….

If we could grow at 3% versus 2% over a 10-year period, that would lead to $2.3 trillion in additional GDP by the end of the decade or an increase in household income of about $18,000. A 3% growth rate is what we used to have – and it is achievable again. This growth will help all Americans, but particularly poor and disad-vantaged citizens (even before implementing special assistance programs) by increasing opportunities for better jobs, higher incomes, affordable housing and other benefits. …

we are blessed with the extraordinary gifts from our Founding Fathers, which are still unequaled: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise, the sanc-tity of the individual, and the promise of equality and opportunity for all….

Oh, and there was also one pretty good anecdote about unintended consequences and perverse incentives:

In Vietnam, when a major city once had a rat population problem, the government devised what it thought was an easy, foolproof solution: Pay people to kill rats. All people had to do was bring in a rat tail to be paid. What the government didn’t consider was that people would breed rats for a supply of rat tails to sell.

Read the Full Article here: >The Future of Capitalism