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JPMorgan CEO Calls for More Inclusive Post-Covid-19 Economy

May 22, 2020

Five months after the appearance of a much-publicized report about racial discrimination at JPMorgan, the company’s CEO says the coronavirus could present a chance to rebuild a more inclusive economy, according to news reports.

“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,” Jamie Dimon wrote in a letter to shareholders ahead of the bank’s annual meeting, according to CNBC.com. 

The CEO also wrote about the reality that low-income communities and people of color are suffering the most during the pandemic, only worsening the “health and economic inequities that were already unacceptably pronounced before the virus took over,” according to the TV news channel’s website. 

More than 36 million people in the U.S. have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus reached the country, and nearly 40% of households that earn less than $40,000 annually have reported a job loss, CNBC.com writes, citing data released last week by the Federal Reserve.

Dimon, meanwhile, also said that he would soon release some ideas on shaping a more inclusive economy, according to the website.

“An inclusive economy — in which there is widespread access to opportunity — is a stronger, more resilient economy,” Dimon wrote, according to CNBC.com. “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.”

The New York Times ran an exposé in December detailing racial discrimination allegations by Ricardo Peters, a former JPMorgan financial advisor in Phoenix, and Jimmy Kennedy, one of the firm’s clients. In January, JPMorgan acknowledged some failures in the treatment of both men and told lawmakers who were investigating the issue about several diversity and job training programs at the company. The firm also told employees that it assembled a team of executives to address discrimination. 

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By Alex Padalka
  • To read the CNBC article cited in this story, click here.
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