JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said the Federal Reserve should have started raising interest rates sooner in order to tamp down explosive inflation.
The billionaire noted some of the positives about the economy during a Wednesday interview, highlighting that jobs are plentiful and wages are going up despite the towering inflation. Dimon said the Fed now has to raise rates and reverse its quantitative easing.
“If they can they’re going to try to slow down the economy enough so that 8% starts to come down over time,” Dimon told Bloomberg in reference to consumer prices, which increased by 8.5% for the 12 months ending in March. “I wish them the best, we’re a little late.”
After saying the Fed was behind the curve on hiking interest rates, Dimon added that people should “take a deep breath” and give the central bank a chance but that he thinks the sooner the Fed moves to tighten its monetary policy, the better.
ANXIOUS FED SET FOR HISTORIC MEASURE TO TRY TO CURB INFLATION
The central bank is trying to pull off what is called a “soft landing,” meaning driving down inflation while simultaneously avoiding an economic tailspin. Many economists have said it will be difficult for the Fed to do so because it will have to hike rates more aggressively given the rising prices.
Dimon pegged the odds of the Fed pulling off a soft landing at about 30% and the odds of a “mild recession” at 30%, although he acknowledged that there is also a chance the Fed’s tightening could result in a “much harder” landing.
Top central bank officials, led by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, are meeting this week to discuss what action to take. The Fed is expected to hike its interest rate target by half a percentage point on Wednesday.
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A half-point increase is akin to doing two interest rate hikes at once because the federal funds rate is typically moved up by a quarter of a percentage point at a time to lessen the economic blowback.
If the Fed does the more aggressive hike, as is expected, it would be the first time such an action has been taken in more than two decades.