Inflation: Jamie Dimon says CEOs `shouldn’t be crybabies about it’

Banks have been one of many predominant beneficiaries of excessive inflation lately as a result of their revenue margins are likely to develop when increased costs pressure central banks to lift rates of interest.

At least, that was the pondering as buyers bid up financial institution shares whereas charges climbed and inflation reached multi-decade highs. Now, megabanks together with JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are disclosing that scorching inflation in a single space — worker wages — is casting a shadow over the subsequent few years.

Shares of JPMorgan fell greater than 6% on Friday after the financial institution stated that bills will climb 8% to roughly $77 billion this yr, pushed by wage inflation and know-how investments. Higher bills will seemingly push the financial institution's returns in 2022 and 2023 under latest outcomes and the lender's 17% return-on-capital goal, based on CFO Jeremy Barnum.

"We've seen a somewhat elevated attrition and a very dynamic labor market, as the rest of the economy is seeing," Barnum stated. "It is true that labor markets are tight, that there's a little bit of labor inflation, and it's important for us to attract and retain the best talent and pay competitively."

The client steadiness sheet has by no means been in higher form, says Jamie DimonThe Exchange

The growth provides nuance to the bull case for proudly owning banks, which usually outperform different sectors in rising-rate environments. While economists anticipate the Federal Reserve to lift charges three or 4 instances this yr, boosting the finance business, there may be the chance that runaway inflation might really wipe out these features, based on Barnum.

"On balance, a modest inflation that leads to higher rates is good for us," the CFO informed analysts in a convention name. "But under some scenarios, elevated inflationary pressures on expenses could more than offset the rates benefit."

Citigroup CFO Mark Mason stated Friday that there was a "lot of competitive pressure on wages" as banks jostle for expertise amid the increase in offers and buying and selling exercise.

"We have seen some pressure in what one has to pay to attract talent," Mason stated. "You've even seen it at some of the lower levels, I should say entry levels in the organization."

At JPMorgan, the most important U.S. financial institution by belongings, it’s the financial institution's skilled class specifically — buying and selling personnel, funding bankers and asset administration staff — who’ve seen pay swell after two straight years of sturdy efficiency. The firm additionally raised wages at branches final yr.

Watch CNBC's full interview with JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon on the economic system, well being care and extraThe Exchange

"There's a lot more compensation for top bankers and traders and managers who I should say did an extraordinary job in the last couple years," chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon informed analysts throughout a convention name.  "We will be competitive in pay. If that squeezes margins a little bit for shareholders, so be it."

Dimon stated that whereas general inflation would "hopefully" begin to recede this yr because the Fed will get to work, will increase in "wages, and housing and oil are not transitory, they'll stay elevated for a while."

In truth, Dimon informed analysts that wage inflation would be a recurring theme amongst companies this yr. Some firms will navigate the change higher than others, he stated.

"Please don't say I'm complaining about wages; I think wages going up is a good thing for the people who have the wages going up," Dimon stated. "CEOs shouldn't be crybabies about it. They should just deal with it. The job is to serve your client as best you can with all the factors out there."

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