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FirstFT: JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon has some regrets


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Jamie Dimon has issued two separate apologies to China after telling a group of US business leaders that JPMorgan Chase would outlast the Chinese Communist party.

In a speech in Boston on Tuesday the bank’s chief executive had referred to the party’s 100th anniversary, remarking that JPMorgan was the same age. “I’ll make a bet that we last longer,” he said, adding: “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.”

The bank scrambled on Wednesday to mitigate any damage to relations with China, where JPMorgan has spent decades laying the groundwork to take advantage of the country’s growing prosperity. First, Dimon issued a statement: “I regret and should not have made that comment. I was trying to emphasise the strength and longevity of our company.” Hours later he apologised again.

“I regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture. Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.”

Thank you for reading FirstFT Asia. Here is the rest of today’s news. — Emily

1. Dozens of migrants feared drowned off French coast More than 30 people have drowned during an attempt to cross the English Channel from France in the worst accident in a surge of clandestine small-boat crossings that have frayed relations between French and British authorities.

Activists and members of associations defending migrants’ rights gather outside the port of Calais
Activists and members of associations defending migrants’ rights gather outside the port of Calais © AP

2. Three men found guilty of murder in shooting of Arbery A US jury has found three white men guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot while jogging in Georgia last year in an incident that fuelled racial justice protests across the US.

3. US blacklists Chinese quantum computing companies The move, which makes it almost impossible for US companies to sell technologies to the listed companies, targeted a total of 27 entities, including 12 in China and two affiliated firms in Japan and Singapore. In addition to quantum computing, the list included companies in the semiconductor and aerospace industries.

4. Chinese regulators demand approval of new Tencent apps China’s ministry of industry and information technology (MIIT) will temporarily conduct “technology testing” to ensure Tencent’s apps meet its standards before the company can offer them to users, state media reported.

5. Samsung to build $17bn chip plant in Texas Samsung Electronics has chosen the Texas city of Taylor for its planned $17bn US chip plant as the South Korean technology group responds to the Biden administration’s push for expanding semiconductor production in the US.

Coronavirus digest

The day ahead

Bank of Korea monetary policy committee meeting The Bank of Korea is expected to raise interest rates as policymakers work to control inflation, which in October rose to its highest level in about a decade. (Reuters)

European Central Bank meeting minutes How long do ECB rate-setters expect to keep buying bonds and when might they raise interest rates from their ultra-low levels? More light is due to be shed on these crucial questions when the minutes of last month’s policy meeting are published today.

US Thanksgiving holiday Fears of another Covid surge come on the cusp of the holiday, when tens of millions of Americans will travel to reconnect with their families, some of them for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Americans will be paying more to celebrate Thanksgiving when they gather around dinner tables.

Bivariate state maps showing how the vaccination rates compare to new case/hospital admission rates in each state between August and November of 2021. Colors and data are binned in quantiles depending on the range of the data. In the summer, the relationship between vaccinations and cases/hospital admissions was consistently inverse across states, whereas waning immunity and lagging vaccination rates in different states has broken that relationship, particularly for cases, as breakthrough cases have increased significantly over the past few months.

What else we’re reading and listening to

Will global banks’ bet on China pay off? JPMorgan — and its major Wall Street and European rivals — believe there is a big prize worth chasing in China. For western banks, this prize has proved to be elusive so far. The US bank’s efforts at investment banking in China have involved large costs for meagre returns.

Is it time to be open about pay? Chances are, not even your best friend knows how much you earn at work. In this episode of the FT podcast Working It, host Isabel Berwick tries to work out what we are worried about. Plus, she talks to Brooke Masters about how to negotiate a pay rise.

Why the race to harness nuclear fusion just sped up Scientists are on a 60-year mission to answer one of energy’s most complex problems: how to harness the power of the sun to generate clean, never-ending electricity on Earth. No group has been able to generate more energy from a fusion reaction than the system consumes. But now, scientists are optimistic.

Amazon’s fight with Visa is about who keeps the profits As the year’s biggest shopping season gets under way, Amazon last week picked a very public fight with Visa. It emailed UK customers to say it plans to stop taking Visa-branded credit cards and offer them £20 off their next purchase if they switched payment methods.

The US and China are already at war. But which kind? As hedge fund luminary Ray Dalio has noted conflicts can erupt on many fronts, not just kinetic. “There’s a trade war, a technology war, a geopolitical war, a capital war and there could be a military war. We are certainly in varying degrees in the first four of those . . . and there’s good reason to worry about the fifth type,” he told Gillian Tett.

Thanks to readers who took our poll yesterday. Fifty-five per cent of respondents said they do not support Beijing’s crackdown on tutoring.

Film

Ridley Scott has called his chaotic new film House of Gucci “satire”. In other words, it is meant as a joke. That explains a lot. Scott is many things, among them a sometimes peerless grand-design film-maker. A comedian he is not, writes FT film critic Danny Leigh.

Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci and Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani
Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci and Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in ‘House of Gucci’ © AP

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