A Chamath Humbling, President Dimon Chatter & Elliott’s Triumph

JPMorgan Chase C.E.O. Jamie Dimon.
JPMorgan Chase C.E.O. Jamie Dimon. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
William D. Cohan
June 4, 2023

To be honest, I am not sure what is motivating all this “Jamie Dimon for President” chatter outside of an unsolicited tweet from Bill Ackman and some recent playfully enigmatic commentary from Dimon, himself, about his interest in spending his third act in politics. It seems highly unlikely, to say the least, that Jamie would actually want to run for president: eating corn dogs, running around the country playing the retail game, and giving up his perch as the country’s most important banker. Ackman was certainly right that “we need an exemplary business, financial, and global leader to manage through what is likely to be a critically important decade for our country in determining our destiny.” But let’s take a step back from the edge of hysteria here and be realistic for a moment. 

Jamie Dimon is a white, 67-year-old Wall Street C.E.O. On paper, and to voters who have never heard of him, he’d almost be like a Manchurian candidate put forth by the Republicans—a Mitt Romney to the power of Mitt Romney. This is such an absurd longshot that it is simply not going to happen. It’s not even worth contemplating.

Now, as I’ve suggested before, would Jamie like to be appointed Treasury Secretary? Absolutely. He basically said as much the other day on Bloomberg TV: “I love my country, and maybe one day I’ll serve my country in one capacity or another.” And his recent trip to China and Taiwan proves that he has at least some inclination for, and enjoyment of, the political arena. I’ve got to believe that if Biden came a-calling and offered Jamie the chance to replace Janet Yellen, now that the debt ceiling drama has come to end, he would leap at it. And he would probably be a damn good Treasury Secretary, too. We might also be very glad to have him in that slot, during the inevitable next financial crisis, just as we were lucky to have Hank Paulson as Treasury Secretary in 2008. When there’s a crisis on Wall Street, it is always good to have someone in Washington who actually understands the industry and has the relationships.