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Bank CEO Rants: ‘It’s Almost an Embarrassment Being an American Citizen’

The chief executive of the largest bank in the United States voiced his frustration with political gridlock in Washington, D.C., saying Friday the dysfunction made it “almost an embarrassment being an American citizen.”

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, who last year declined an offer to become President Trump’s Treasury secretary, is famous for his candor.

JP Morgan Chase reported a profit of $7.03 billion for the second quarter of 2017, a 13 percent increase from the same period last year. The bank has earned $26.5 billion over the past 12 months, a record profit for a U.S. bank.

During a conference call Friday to discuss the bank’s latest financial results, Dimon delivered some straightforward criticism of the way the U.S. government is currently operating.

“It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world … listening to the stupid s–t we have to deal with in this country,” he said.

Dimon said the inability to make progress on significant legislation is “holding us back and it is hurting the average American. It isn’t a Republican issue; it is not a Democratic issue.”

“At one point we all have to get our act together or we won’t do what we’re supposed to do for the average Americans,” he said.

Dimon told members of the financial media listening to his comments to focus less on the quarter-to-quarter fluctuations in his business, and spotlight larger issues, such as jobs, infrastructure, taxation and the opioid epidemic.

“[The media] should be writing a lot more about that, the stuff that is holding back and hurting average Americans. Who really cares about fixed-income trading in the last two weeks of June? I mean, seriously,” he said.

Dimon cited the failure of the U.S. to invest in infrastructure, noting that other countries make such ventures a priority.

“I was just in France. I recently in Argentina, was in Israel, was in Ireland. We met with the prime minister of India and China,” Dimon said.

“It’s amazing to me that every single one of these countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth (are) good for the average citizens of these countries — for jobs, and wages — and that, somehow, this great American free enterprise system, we no longer get it,” he added.

“The American business sector is powerful and strong, and it’s going to grow regardless. What I’m saying is, it will be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and we were not gridlocked.”