Jamie Dimon, the billionaire chief executive of JP Morgan, said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic must serve as a “wake-up call” to build a fairer society.
“It is my fervent hope that we use this crisis as a catalyst to rebuild an economy that creates and sustains opportunity for dramatically more people, especially those who have been left behind for too long,” he wrote in a memo issued ahead of his banks annual shareholder meeting.
“The last few months have laid bare the reality that, even before the pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge,” Jamie Dimon added.
This is not the first time that Dimon has criticized the system that built his $1.2bn fortune. Last year, when leftwing Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was leading in Democratic polls, he acknowledged the “flaws” in capitalism, but warned that socialism led to “stagnation, corruption and often worse”.
Jamie Dimon has been tipped as a possible treasury secretary should Joe Biden be successful in his presidential bid. Biden is also reportedly considering his former presidential rival Michael Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire founder of the Bloomberg news service, as a future head of the World Bank.
Some 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance in the last two months as quarantine measures shut down large swathes of the US economy.
Last week, the Federal Reserve said 40% of households earning less than $40,000 had reported a job loss. Women, people of color and those without college education have been the hardest hit.
“This crisis must serve as a wake-up call and a call to action for business and government to think, act and invest for the common good and confront the structural obstacles that have inhibited inclusive economic growth for years,” said Dimon.