JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief Jamie Dimon knew as soon as the words came out of his mouth that the joke about China could land him in hot water.
“I was just in Hong Kong, I made a joke that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer,” he said on Tuesday at a Boston event. Then he added: “I can’t say that in China. They probably are listening anyway.”
Dimon, no stranger to brashness, also knew the bank would have to engineer a hasty retreat. Soon, members of the firm’s government-relations team and China offices were corralled to discuss the remarks and decide whether to acknowledge them or let them lie. Some 18 hours later, when it became clear that the comments attracted global attention, Dimon issued a statement of regret.