Bill Ackman urges Jamie Dimon to run for US president

Billionaire hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman offered JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon a glowing endorsement to run for US president in the 2024 presidential election.

“We need an exemplary business, financial, and global leader to manage through what is likely to be a critically important decade for our country in determining our destiny,” Ackman said on Twitter Wednesday.

“Jamie Dimon is that leader,” added Ackman, who runs a hedge fund called Pershing Square and made his name as an activist investor.

The endorsement comes after Dimon admits in an interview with Bloomberg early Wednesday that the thought of running for the public office had crossed his mind even though he is “quite happy” running the country’s largest bank.

“I love my country, and maybe one day I’ll serve my country in one capacity or another but I love what I do,” he said.

Dimon also mused on life after JPMorgan at the bank’s annual investor day on May 22, when asked if he still had the same drive for the job.

He said he did. “I am not going to change,” he said. “I’m not going to play golf. I can’t do this forever, I know that. But my intensity is the same. I think when I don’t have that kind of intensity, I should leave.”

Dimon has frequently been linked over the years to top roles in Washington. During President Obama’s time in office, Dimon was frequently mentioned as a possible Treasury Secretary. Warren Buffett even offered his endorsement in 2012, saying Dimon would be the best pick for that job.

In Ackman’s Twitter post Wednesday, the investor said Dimon could beat President Biden in the primary election and former President Donald Trump at the general election, “but he needs to start now and build name recognition among the broad electorate.”

Polls have shown Biden with a consistently small advantage over Trump.

FILE - JPMorgan Chase & Company Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon tests at a Senate Banking Committee annual Wall Street oversight hearing, Sept.  22, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Dimon told investors Tuesday, April 4, 2023, that government and banks should work to adjust industry regulations following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last month, saying that the financial system needs to be adjusted so one bank's failure does not “cause undo panic and financial harm.”  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Files)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Files)

“This will be one of the most important elections in our country’s history. Jamie is more likely to run if we build a groundswell of support for him. Let’s do our civic duty and make it happen,” said Ackman.

Dimon in 2023 has been at the center of a national banking crisis for the second time in 15 years. He led an effort to provide deposits to First Republic after it stumbled in March and then purchased the bulk of its operations after US regulators seized the San Francisco lender.

In 2008, Dimon acted twice to help stabilize the financial system. JPMorgan purchased New York investment bank Bear Stearns in March of that year, getting a $29 billion backstop from the federal government, and then Seattle’s Washington Mutual in September of 2008.

“There is nothing more for him to achieve at JPM,” Ackman said Wednesday. “He has already been crowned the world’s best banker.”

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