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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.”