JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told wealthy clients there's a chance the US is heading into 'something worse' than a recession, report says

P Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon looks on during the inauguration of the new French headquarters of US' JP Morgan bank on June 29, 2021 in Paris
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.MICHEL EULER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • CEO Jamie Dimon talked to some of JPMorgan's wealthy clients on a call Tuesday, Yahoo reported.

  • He was said to have put the chances of a "harder recession" and of "something worse" at 20 to 30%.

  • He called current risks "storm clouds," an apparent downgrade from his June "hurricane" warning.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon estimated last week the probability that the US would head into a recession, according to a Yahoo Finance report published Saturday.

Dimon reportedly said on a client call Tuesday that the economy was "strong" but "storm clouds" were on the horizon, including federal monetary policies, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and rising oil prices. The categorization is an apparent downgrade from Dimon's previous comments in June when he warned of an "economic hurricane."

"Consumers' balance sheets are in good shape," he said, per the Yahoo report. "Businesses are equally in good shape. When you forecast, you have to think differently. It is a bad mistake to say, 'Here is my single-point forecast.'"

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The CEO was said to have estimated the chances of a "soft landing" to be about 10% and the probability of a "harder landing" or "mild recession" to be closer to 20 to 30%. He also reportedly estimated a 20- to 30% chance of a "harder recession" and a 20- to 30% chance of "something worse."

Dimon had originally used the storm-clouds metaphor to describe the US economy back in April, but his outlook grew more dire in June.

"I'm going to change the storm clouds out there. Look, I'm an optimist, I said there are storm clouds, they're big storm clouds: It's a hurricane," he said at the Bernstein conference on June 1, adding: "You better brace yourself. JPMorgan is bracing ourselves and we're going to be very conservative with our balance sheet."

Industry leaders like Dimon have provided various economic forecasts over the past few months, as a strong US labor market clashes with two consecutive quarters of contraction — leaving many experts puzzled over whether the US is approaching a recession or is in one already.

"Right now, it's kind of sunny," Dimon said in June. "Things are doing fine. Everyone thinks the Fed can handle this. That hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way. We just don't know if it's a minor one or Superstorm Sandy or Andrew or something like that."

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