President Donald Trump of the United States won high praise Wednesday from some of the most powerful bankers in the U.S. ahead of his impending trip to an elite Swiss global economic conference.
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon touted Trump’s impact on the economy and the coming effects of the GOP tax plan in Wednesday interviews.
Both said that Trump’s approach to regulation and economic policy kicked an already cruising economy into another gear.
Trump will speak Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a yearly meeting of global business, finance and government titans, to tout his efforts to boost the U.S. economy. He’s expected to use the new corporate tax rate to pitch companies on expanding their presence in the U.S and lay out the administration’s expectations for trade deals.
Blankfein, who has blasted Trump’s immigration policy and comments about racism, told CNBC from Davos that he “really liked” what Trump has done for the economy.
“I’d say I like a lot more stuff than I don’t like, and some of the stuff I don’t like I really don’t like,” Blankfein said. “But I don’t want to be hypocritical, either. I’ve really liked what he’s done for the economy.”
Blankfein cited the GOP bill to slash corporate taxes and Trump’s efforts to deregulate banking as positives. He also predicted that the soaring stock market would be lower and that he’d be “dealing with more regulation” had Trump lost to Hilary Clinton in 2016.
“The country would be a bit less polarized, but I’m not even sure about that,” Blankfein added.
Blankfein, a Democrat, has occasionally spoken out on Twitter against Trump’s actions against and comments on immigrants. He last condemned Trump with a picture of the Statue of Liberty peeking out from fog on Jan. 12, a day after Trump reportedly referred to some countries as “shitholes.”
“View from our building today reminds me that despite all the sh*t, American values will shine through,” Blankfein tweeted.
Trump spent most of his 2016 campaign denouncing “financial elites,” often singling out Goldman Sachs, and insisting he’d end their influence in the Capitol.
He promised to “dismantle” the sweeping Dodd-Frank Act banking rules and he promised to “declare independence” from powerful bankers he said landed the U.S. in several global crises.
But Trump has enjoyed a close relationship with U.S. banks and their advocates in Washington, and they’ve since become frequent Oval Office guests. Bankers have routinely praised Trump’s efforts to boost business growth by loosening Dodd-Frank restrictions on banks and slash corporate taxes.
Dimon, who Trump had considered to be Treasury Secretary, said Wednesday he expected the GOP tax bill to generate an economic boom driving U.S. growth to 4 percent of GDP.
“I promise you, we are going to be sitting here in a year and you all will be worrying about inflation and wages going up too high,” Dimon said during a CNBC interview.
“The real benefit comes over time. Competitive taxes [will lead to] more capital, more jobs, more companies investing here.”
Dimon, also a Democrat, touted his bank’s plans to use billions in savings from the lower corporate tax to hike employee wages, hire more employees and expand their services.