JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon: Fed’s Jerome Powell may raise rates

Analysts are eagerly awaiting the day Jerome Powell announces rate cuts, but JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon fears Wall Street could be in for a nasty shock instead.

Dimon worries that the Fed may raise rates beyond their current two-decade highs instead of cutting them.

Not only will it send shockwaves across the street, but the economy in general may not be ready for this decision, he said.

“When we look at risk and rates, we don’t always guess what the future holds, [we are] looking at a variety of outcomes,” Dimon told CNBC During the JP Morgan Global China Summit in Shanghai.

“Do I think rates will go up a bit? Yes I do. Is the world ready for it if they do? Not really.”

This is a caveat to the consensus of economists.

Earlier this month, Reuters updated an ongoing survey of economists that asked when they expected the central bank to start cutting rates. Nearly two-thirds of economists surveyed, 70 out of 108, believe the first cut will come in September to a range of 5.00% to 5.25%.

These expectations have changed from a more optimistic outlook a month earlier, when 26 economists said they expected a cut in July and four said they expected a cut in June. By May, 11 were waiting for the July cut, but no one believed a downward revision would happen in June.

Sticky inflation

While Dimon’s opinion may be outside the consensus — the 68-year-old finance industry veteran says bankers have been “lulled” into a false sense of security — his reasoning is familiar.

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“Could inflation be stickier than people think? I think the odds are higher than other people think,” he explained. It is still in the system; It still drives this liquidity that you see, markets go up, prices of certain assets and things like that.

“So I’m cautious.”

Indeed, inflation may not be as accommodative as the central bank had hoped. The latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for April showed that the consumer price index rose 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 0.4% in March.

The all-commodity index rose 3.4% in the 12 months ended April, though that was a small increase compared with 3.5% in the 12 months ended March.

While some factors are working in the Fed’s favor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month that U.S. employers added only 175,000 jobs in April — and Dimon isn’t the first to warn that the Fed’s inflation fight could get worse before it gets better.

Last year’s Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser—who ranked highest Good luckA list of the most powerful women – explained that if history is a guide, the second half of reining in inflation will always be more difficult than achieving the initial downturn.

In October, he said “all the numbers” suggested the economy was in for a soft landing, but he said the second half of an economic plan was the “tough half.”

Dimon—Shocked the market by saying he plans to retire in the next five years, Dimon said stubborn inflation could lead to what he sees as a “bad” outcome for America: stagnation.

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He added: “I see a range of outcomes, and again, the worst outcome for all of us is what you call stagnation, high rates, recession. That means corporate profits will fall, and we’ll get through all of that. I mean, the world has survived that, but the odds are higher than other people think. I think.

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