Jamie Dimon is a renowned Wall Street wisecracker but making jokes about China is risque even for the world’s top banking executive.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, Dimon quipped: ‘I was just in Hong Kong and I made a joke that the Communist Party is celebrating its hundredth year. JP Morgan is also celebrating its 100th year. I’d make a bet we last longer.’

He didn’t stop there. ‘I can’t say that in China. They probably are listening anyway,’ the 65-year-old banker added.

Speech: JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon (pictured) has apologised twice for the remarks he made about China at the Boston College Chief Executives Club

Speech: Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan (pictured) apologized twice to the Boston College Chief Executives Club for his remarks about China

JP Morgan, which was founded in 1895, has operated in China since 1921 – the same year the Chinese Communist Party was officially formed.

The remarks were apparently received with howls and laughter by Dimon, who is well-known for his bold sense of humor.

But in a sign that even the King of Wall Street is wary of Beijing, he has since apologised – twice.

First he said: ‘I regret and should not have made that comment. I was trying to emphasise the strength and longevity of our company.’

Hours later, he added: ‘I truly regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture.

‘Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.’

Dimon has been – until now at least – seen as almost untouchable.

As chief executive, Morgan has served as the bank’s leader for 16 years. He survived the financial crisis but was able to keep JP Morgan on Wall Street.

His pop at China betrays a self-confidence – indeed arrogance – that is in stark contrast to British rival HSBC which has been accused of ‘kowtowing’ to Beijing.

There is no sign that he will be leaving. Despite being 65, it is understood he wants to stay for another five years, telling Fox Business over the summer: ‘I’m not going to go play golf and smell flowers.’

His throat cancer was successfully treated and he had to have emergency heart surgery when the pandemic began.

He outlasted Lloyd Blankfein (the Goldman Sachs boss) and other titans that led their banks into financial crisis.

Power couple: Dimon with wife Judy, who was described by classmate Jeffrey Immelt ¿ later became the chairman of GE ¿ as 'by far the best-looking, sexiest and smartest girl in the class'

Power couple: Dimon with wife Judy, who was described by classmate Jeffrey Immelt – later became the chairman of GE – as ‘by far the best-looking, sexiest and smartest girl in the class’

Dimon’s success has been put down to his huge energy and while he has a good sense of humour, this can quickly turn into a fierce temper.

Although he claims to have cut down on tennis and running, he wakes up at 5.

He appears at events alongside his wife Judy, who we wooed at Harvard and was described by classmate Jeffrey Immelt – who later became the chairman of GE – as ‘by far the best-looking, sexiest and smartest girl in the class’.

He is said to not only remember the names of all juniors he has met, but also a list of those who owe him favors. He is not afraid to voice his opinion and will even clash with head of states. 

In 2011 he asked French president Nicolas Sarkozy to get the G20 to avoid ‘overregulation’ of banks. 

But Sarkozy saw red and launched into an attack on bankers, saying during the financial crisis they had made moves that ‘defied common sense’ and harmed millions of people.

Unsurprisingly, Dimon’s time at JP Morgan has made him a very rich man. Last year he took home £24million, matching his pay in 2019.

But a significant blot on his copybook was the London Whale scandal of 2012, which resulted in one of JP Morgan’s Canary Wharf bankers losing a whopping £4.2billion.

Dimon initially dismissed the story as a ‘tempest in a teapot’, which he quickly came to regret.

Later he was more contrite, calling the trades ‘flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored’. The bank ultimately paid more than £1bn in fines to settle US and UK regulatory probes into the matter.

For a while, Dimon’s rock star status was under threat as regulators questioned whether banks were unable to control their employees post the financial crisis and if bankers were still addicted to risk.

It was, however, the beginning of Dimon’s end.

He is a master at retaining power. Bill Winters went on to lead Standard Chartered and Jes Staley went to Barclays.

There are questions, however, about whether Dimon will be able to survive another five-years.

Rumours have circulated that Marianne Lake (a British banker and graduate of Reading University) is closer to claiming the title. She is a single mother of 3 children.

Lake is responsible for running JP Morgan’s consumer lending arm.

If Lake succeeds, she will be the second chief executive of Britain on Wall Street. Jane Fraser (Scotland) would head Citigroup. Dimon is, for the time being, immovable, as does the Chinese Communist Party.

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