JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told wealthy clients there's a chance the US is heading into 'something worse' than a recession, report says

  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon spoke to some of the bank’s wealthy clients on a call Tuesday, Yahoo reported
  • He said there’s a 20-30% chance of a “harder recession” and equal odds of “something worse.”
  • He described current risks as “storm clouds,” an apparent downgrade from his June warning of a “hurricane.”

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon estimated last week the probability that the US would head into a recession, according to a Yahoo Finance report published Saturday. 

Overall, Dimon said on a client call Tuesday, the economy is “strong” but he noted there are “storm clouds” on the horizon, including federal monetary policies, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and rising oil prices. The categorization is an apparent downgrade from Dimon’s previous comments in June when he warned of an “economic hurricane.”

“Consumers’ balance sheets are in good shape. Businesses are equally in good shape. When you forecast, you have to think differently,” he said, per the Yahoo report. “It is a bad mistake to say ‘here is my single point forecast.'”

The CEO broke down the odds of a “soft landing” to be around 10% and the probability of a “harder landing” or “mild recession” to be closer to 20-30%. There’s also a 20-30% chance of a “harder recession” and a 20-30% chance of “something worse,” according to Dimon. 

Earlier this summer, Dimon walked back the “storm cloud” metaphor he first used to describe the US economy in April.

“You know, I said there’s storm clouds but I’m going to change it … it’s a hurricane,” he said at the Bernstein conference on June 1. “You better brace yourself. JPMorgan is bracing ourselves and we’re going to be very conservative with our balance sheet.”

Industry leaders like Dimon have provided various economic forecasts over the past few months, as a strong labor market clashes with two consecutive quarters of contraction — leaving many experts puzzled over whether or not the US is approaching a recession or is in one already. 

“Right now, it’s kind of sunny. Things are doing fine. Everyone thinks the Fed can handle this. That hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way,” Dimon said in June. “We just don’t know if it’s a minor one or superstorm Sandy… or Andrew or something like that.” 

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