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India’s advantages far outweigh macro fears: Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan, CEO

India’s economy expanded at 8.2% in the June quarter, fastest among all major economies.

Updated: Sep 21, 2018, 05.49 PM IST
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon bets on India story
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon bets on India story
India’s world beating economic growth and critical reforms such as GST and the first step in bank mergers are advantages that far outweigh fears arising out of macroeconomic imbalances and a sliding currency, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan chief executive, has said.

JPMorgan, which employs nearly 34,000 people in India, will step up its hiring and investments in the country as it believes that rule of law, and resolution of problems would help realise full growth potential, he said.

“He is strong enough politically to take strong actions which India needs and which are hard to do,” Dimon said of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an exclusive interview with ET. “If India wants to reach its potential, those actions need to be taken.”

India’s economy expanded at 8.2% in the June quarter, fastest among all major economies. It implemented the nationwide GST and brought in a bankruptcy law that is helping banks recover loans faster from defaulters. But the rupee slid to a record low and was the worst performing Asian emerging markets currency as foreign funds pulled out amidst a chorus of criticism of PM Modi’s handling of economic problems.

“That is a mistake,” said Dimon. “Currencies adjust to growth, interest rates and own issues here.

Currencies can go down when the economy is growing; when the rupee goes down it also means that you are going to export more.’’

Dimon, the only chief executive who has navigated the global financial crisis and acquired a few firms in the process to expand business, said that despite rising interest rates and selloff in emerging markets, there is no threat of another Lehman-like crisis. “Lehman wouldn’t happen today,” he said crediting regulators for raising capital buffers and the reduced leverage in the system. It is absurd to believe that the economic woes of a country would extend to all the countries in this rising rate environment, he said.

“If you say a contagion, you mean Argentina and Turkey have a problem and it will lead to a terrible problem elsewhere, it does not,” said Dimon.

“There is no domino effect like that. There are a lot more reserves in the world today. People have financed more rationally. It will cause dollar rates to go up. If we have good growth and dollar rates go higher, people’s borrowing costs will go higher but it is a business cycle and not every country will be the same.”

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