JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said the Federal Reserve should increase interest rates—and sooner rather than later.
“Let’s just raise rates,” Dimon said Monday during a wide-ranging discussion at the Economic Club of Washington. “The Fed has to maintain credibility. I think it’s time to raise rates. Normality is a good thing; not a bad thing. The return to normal is a good thing.”
Fed policymakers will gather in Washington Sept. 20-21, and recent comments from voting members have sent mixed signals about whether they’ll lift rates or wait at least until the December meeting. Speaking Monday in Chicago, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said that “the case to tighten policy pre-emptively is less compelling” in an environment where declining unemployment has been slow to spur faster inflation.
Meanwhile, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, a voting member this year on the Federal Open Market Committee, argued Friday there was a reasonable case for gradual tightening.
Dimon, CEO and chairman of the biggest U.S. bank, isn’t a disinterested party. Banks typically make more money when interest rates rise as the gap widens between how much they charge borrowers and pay depositors. The shares of banks have climbed this year on days when speculation rises that the Fed is closer to increasing rates.
“I’d go sooner rather than later, but I’ll leave the exact timing up to them,” Dimon said.