May 24, 2024

Jamie Dimon

Photo: Marco Bello (Reuters)

At the annual High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference hosted by JPMorgan in Miami on Feb. 26, Dimon struck a slightly more optimistic note than usual.

“Right now, confidence is up,” he told CNBC. “There’s more M&A chatter. Equity marks are open a little bit. Spreads are getting close to historical lows, which means there’s a lot of money chasing high-yield deals. So things are kind of open. Markets are high. People feel it. So, so far, so good.”

When it comes to lingering fears from last year’s regional banking crisis, Dimon didn’t seem too concerned about a potential spread, given that last year’s bank failures were “very local.”

“As long as the economy stays like this, there will be more of a Whac-A-Mole,” he said. “There should be no domino effect. The problems you’ve seen were kind of idiosyncratic problems with Silicon Valley, First Republic, New York Community Bank.”

One area of concern, however, are high levels of fiscal spending, which could hamper hopes of a soft landing, where the government wrangles inflation without falling into a recession. While others said the odds of such an outcome are 70% or 80%, Dimon said he would put it at half of that.

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