US President-elect Donald Trump is, with the counsel of his transition team, in the process of putting together a list of individuals to form the incoming president’s cabinet and other prominent officials at the head of federal agencies. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is reportedly being considered for the job, a man who was once referred to Donald Trump as “the worst banker in the United States.”
According to Reuters and CNBC sources, Trump’s advisors have suggested Jamie Dimon for the position of the country’s treasury secretary. One member of Trump’s transition team reportedly contacted Dimon to guage his interest in the role.
If reports are indeed true, it would make for a notable pivot for Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Wall Street during his campaign trail in running for president. Offering Dimon the job would be even more remarkable, with Trump’s previously-expressed public opinion of the JPMorgan chief.
Speaking to Bloomberg in 2013, Trump said the following of Dimon, who was close to agreeing a multi-billion dollar settlement with the Justice Department over the bank’s civil litigation suit.
Trump had stated:
I don’t believe in settling cases. I’m not Jamie Dimon, who pays $13 billion to settle a case and then pays $11 billion to settle a case and who I think is the worst banker in the United States.
Not Returning that Call?
Dimon, who is a known Democrat, has frequently dismissed any talk of serving public office in the past during various events and conferences. Furthermore, one of the two CNBC sources with the scoop also added that Dimon has already stated that he wouldn’t be interested in the role.
Arguably the most well-known Wall Street executive, Dimon’s refusal to the job as treasury secretary – if true – would see the banker turn down a role that would see him play a principal role in all financial and economic matters relating to the government and the country’s economic policy. The secretary, as a part of the cabinet, will also have the ear of the President-elect Trump as his chief economic advisor.
A Noted Bitcoin Skeptic
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts will remember Dimon for his blunt skepticism of bitcoin, the most prominent and widely-used digital currency around.
In the past, Dimon has opined that Bitcoin was “a waste of time”, insisting that governments around the world will not let currencies – like bitcoin – flourish if it isn’t under their control. When asked about bitcoin earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dimon reiterated his views, stating that bitcoin “is going to go nowhere”.
While Dimon’s dismissals of bitcoin have been well documented, the JPMorgan executive has a different take on blockchain, bitcoin’s underlying technology. Noting that “blockchain is a technology which we have been studying,” Dimon further added that the innovation will be adopted if it proves to be cheap and secure.
It remains to be seen if Dimon changes tact and shows interest in the Treasury job, although it would be more prudent of the country’s foremost economic policy director to have an open-mind about cryptocurrencies that continue to perform outside the jurisdiction of governments. As one US federal prosecutor who is well-versed in the subject recently remarked, “the government realized bitcoin could not be shut down.”
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