Sjajno pismo dioničarima Jamie Dimona. JP Morgan Chase ima bilancu od 2,35 bilijuna (=2.350 milijardi) dolara. Neto dobit prošle godine 24 milijarde dolara (reći će naši antikapitalisti: ‘nije fer’).
Pogledajmo neke izvatke:
Are you worried about bad public policy?
Yes, bad public policy, and I’m not looking at this in a partisan way, creates risk for the economies of the world and the living standards of the people on this planet – and, therefore, for the future of JPMorgan Chase – more so than credit or market risks. We have many real-life examples that demonstrate how essential good public policy is to the health and welfare of a country.
East Germany vs. West Germany. After World War II, East Germany and West Germany were in equal positions, both having been devastated by the war. After the war, West Germany flourished, creating a vibrant and healthy country for its citizens. East Germany (and, in fact, most of Eastern Europe), operating under different governance and policies, was a complete disaster. This did not have to be the case. East Germany could have been just as successful as West Germany. This is a perfect example of how important policy is and also of how economics is not a zero-sum game.
Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea vs. Singapore, South Korea, Mexico. These countries also provide us with some pretty strong contrasts. The first four countries mentioned above have performed poorly economically. The last three mentioned above have done rather well in the last several decades. You cannot credit this failure or success to the existence of great natural resources because, on both sides, some had these resources, and some did not. It would take too long to articulate it fully here, but strong public policy – fiscal, monetary, social, etc. – made all the difference. The countries that did not perform well had many reasons to be successful, but, they were not. In almost all these cases, their government took ineffective actions in the name of the people.
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Argentina. Argentina is now a country with incredible opportunity. In the 1920s, its GDP per person was larger than that of France, whereas today, it is barely one third compared with France. Argentina is an example of terrible public policy, often adopted under the auspices of being good for the people, that has resulted in extraordinary damage to the economy. However, the country has a highly educated population, a new president who is making bold and intelligent moves, peaceful neighbors and, like Brazil, an abundance of natural resources. You might be surprised to know that for the past 10 years, in spite of the country’s difficulties, JPMorgan Chase has made a modest profit there by consistently serving our clients and the country. This year, we took a little additional risk in Argentina with a special financing to help bring the country some stability and help get it back into the global markets. We are hoping that Argentina can be an example to the world of what can happen when a country has a good leader who adopts good policy.
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Our current inability to work together in addressing important, long-term issues. We have spoken many times about the extraordinarily positive and resilient American economy. Today, it is growing stronger, and it is far better than you hear in the current political discourse. But we have serious issues that we need to address – even the United States does not have a divine right to success. I won’t go into a lot of detail but will list only some key concerns: the long-term fiscal and tax issues (driven mostly by healthcare and Social Security costs, as well as complex and poorly designed corporate and individual taxes), immigration, education (especially in inner city schools) and the need for good, longterm infrastructure plans. I am not pointing fingers at the government in particular for our inability to act because it is all of us, as U.S. citizens, who need to face these problems.
I do not believe that these issues will cause a crisis in the next five to 10 years, and, unfortunately, this may lull us into a false sense of security. But after 10 years, it will become clear that action will need to be taken. The problem is not that the U.S. economy won’t be able to take care of its citizens – it is that taking away benefits, creating intergenerational warfare and scapegoating will make for very difficult and bad politics. This is a tragedy that we can see coming. Early action would be relatively painless.
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- Treating every decision like it is binary – my way or your way. Most decisions are not binary, and there are usually better answers waiting to be found if you do the analysis and involve the right people.
- Drawing straw men or creating scapegoats. These generally are subtle attempts to oversimplify someone’s position in order to attack it, resulting in anger, misunderstanding and mistrust.
- Denigrating a whole class of people or society. This is always wrong and just another form of prejudice. One of the greatest men in America’s history, President Abraham Lincoln, never drew straw men, never scapegoated and never denigrated any class of society – even though he probably had more reason to do so than many. In the same breath, some of our politicians can extol his virtues while violating them.
- Equating perception with reality. This is a tough one because you have to deal with both perceptions and reality. However, perceptions that are real are completely different from perceptions that are false. And how you deal with each of them probably should differ.
- Treating someone’s comments as if they were complaints. When someone’s response to an issue raised is “here they go complaining again,” that reaction diminishes the point of view and also diminishes the person. When a person complains, you need to ask the question: “Are they right or are they wrong?” (If you don’t like the person’s attitude, that is a different matter.)
What does work:
- Collaborating and compromising. They are a necessity in a democracy. Also, you can compromise without violating your principles, but it is nearly impossible to compromise when you turn principles into ideology.
- Listening carefully to each other. Make an effort to understand when someone is right and acknowledge it. Each of us should read and listen to great thinkers who have an alternative point of view.
- Constantly, openly and thoroughly reviewing institutions, programs and policies. Analyze what is working and what is not working, and then figure out – together – how we can make it better.
I am honored to work at this company and with its outstanding people. What they have accomplished during these often difficult circumstances has been extraordinary. I know that if you could see our people up close in action, you would join me in expressing deep gratitude to them. I am proud to be their partner.”