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The JP Morgan boss has said the Covid pandemic and the police killing of George Floyd have shone a spotlight on America’s flaws and its failure to address inequality and racism.
Jamie Dimon told a banking conference on Monday that the tumultuous events of the past year had magnified problems around structural racism and poverty that had plagued the US for more than 150 years.
“Covid and the murder of George Floyd kind of shine the spotlight on something that we already knew,” Dimon said during an interview at the Sibos conference. “We’ve had racial inequality in this country since way before the civil war and we haven’t done a particularly good job of fixing it.
“And let’s acknowledge the truth … the black community has been left behind for a long time and a lot of it was structural: jobs, education, stuff like that.”
He said black communities were among the hardest hit by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week’s US jobs report showed the unemployment rate falling to 7.9% in September. While that is a significant improvement on the 14.7% record high reached in April, when the Covid crisis shut down most of the US economy, the recovery has been uneven and disproportionately benefited white men. Women, Latino and black Americans have continued to struggle.
The jobless rate rate among white people was 7% in September, compared with 10.3% among Latinos and 12.1% among black Americans.
“Poor people tend to suffer in any crisis, more than everybody else, more than the rich people.” Dimon said. “That was true for Superstorm Sandy, it’s true for recessions, it’s true for Covid. Covid just highlights so many flaws in how we run our country, the mistakes we make in running our country and how it hurts so many people.”
Dimon said JP Morgan was “doubling down and advancing black pathways”. The bank has said it aims to hire 4,000 black college graduates by 2024.
The bank reportedly introduced new diversity training programmes in March,months after a New York Times article detailed allegations of racial discrimination at a branch in Arizona. The bank put one of its executive directors on administrative leave after the claims went public.
Dimon said he wanted to create an inclusive environment at JP Morgan. “I don’t care if you’re Muslim, Asian, gay, black, women, a shy man – I want you all to feel treated with respect at this company.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Covid has highlighted America’s flaws, says bank boss Jamie Dimon | Business