Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jamie Dimon: 2009 will be bleak

The US financial and economic crisis will worsen this year as hard-hit consumers default on credit cards and other loans, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has predicted in an interview with the Financial Times.

Mr Dimon, whose bank will report fourth-quarter results on Thursday, gave his bleak assessment as shares on both sides of the Atlantic tumbled on rising fears that banks would need more capital and a larger-than-expected fall in US retail sales.

“The worst of the economic situation is not yet behind us. It looks as if it will continue to deteriorate for most of 2009,” said Mr Dimon. “In terms of our sector, we expect consumer loans and credit cards to continue to get worse.”

...Mr Dimon told the FT that JPMorgan was prepared for an expected deterioration in consumer-oriented businesses but added that if things were to get worse than expected it would have to cut costs again.

Mr Dimon said the bursting of the credit bubble would force the banking industry to refocus on its traditional businesses of advising on deals and lending to companies and individuals.

”When we look back at industry excesses in areas such as highly leveraged lending and securitisation, it is clear that some of these markets will never come back,” he said. “In the next few years, the industry will go back to basics: serving individual and corporate customers as best as we can.”

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