JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in no uncertain terms that his bank will not stop financing the production of fossil fuels.
‘Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,’ Dimon said on Wednesday, in a clash with Michigan Democrat and Squad member Rashida Tlaib.
Tlaib asked banking executives to respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether or not they have a policy ‘against funding new oil and gas products’ – to meet their collective pledge to work towards net zero emissions by 2050.
In response to Dimon’s resounding no, Tlaib advised citizens to remove their accounts from the banking giant.
‘Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief from student loans [that] has a bank with your bank, should probably take out their account and close their account,’ she said, referencing President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt.
‘The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt because of student load debt, and you’re out there criticizing it.’
The congresswoman then returned to her original line of questioning, saying Dimon ‘obviously’ doesn’t ‘care about working class people in frontline communities like ours that are facing high rates of asthma and respiratory issues and so much more.’
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said halting new sales of oil and gas would be the ‘road to hell for America’
Dimon’s response comes after Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked the CEO of the nations largest banks if they have a policy against funding new oil and gas products
Bank executives gathered on Wednesday in front of congress and gave a dim view of the U.S. economy. Dimon (third from left) said JP Morgan Chase was ‘absolutely not’ divesting from fossil fuels, while others gave measured responses about helping clients as they transition towards renewable energy sectors
Tlaib swiftly moved to the other executives for their investment responses.
‘We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies,’ CEO of Citigroup Jane Fraser said.
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, agreed with Fraser and said they are helping clients move towards a greener path.
‘We are helping our clients make a transition, and that means we’re lending to both oil and gas companies and to new energy companies and helping monitor their course towards the standards you’re talking about, Moynihan said.
The CEOs of the nation’s largest banks gathered in front of Congress on Wednesday and gave a dim view of the U.S. economy, reflecting the financial and economic distress many Americans are facing.
Some executives didn’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but simply suggested they would still invest in fossil fuels while helping clients reach toward a ‘greener’ approach
Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, said: ‘We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies’
Brian Moynihan (right), CEO of Bank of America, agreed with Fraser’s approach
Dimon, Faser and other bank executives also warned the U.S. consumer is in good shape but faces threats from high inflation and rising interest rates.
The hearing was held on the same day the Federal Reserve announced it was raising its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a point in a bid to contain inflation.
When asked by lawmakers, the bank CEOs seemed increasingly skeptical that the Fed can achieve its goal of a “soft landing,” where inflation is brought back down without causing widespread damage to the economy.
‘I’m keeping my fingers crossed,’ Dimon said.
Fraser said in remarks prepared for the hearing that while “COVID is behind us, the economic challenges we are now facing are no less daunting.”
Despite the dimmer view, the CEOs generally said the U.S. consumer is currently in good financial health due to the savings they accumulated during the pandemic.
Brian Moynihan said the amount of money in customers’ accounts has been stable. Dimon said wages are up while debt loads have dropped, and Fraser said consumers are spending at elevated levels.
The CEOs will resume back before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.