Dimon backs Romney for primary wins

JP MORGAN chief executive Jamie Dimon believes that Mitt Romney is on course for a victory in this year's primaries, he said in Davos yesterday.

He also appeared to come close to endorsing the Massachusetts governor, who has been mired in problems over his tax returns, which revealed that he pays an effective tax rate of 13 per cent.

Of Romney’s prospects of victory, Dimon told CNN: “I could be dead wrong. That’s my opinion who the Republican candidate is going to be, because I think he’s an experienced, knowledgeable, successful guy. He clearly doesn’t like talking about himself, or his money very much, but he’ll get through that.”

Dimon, who is known for his outspoken views on politics and changes in banking rules, also said that regulators are not cooperating enough.

“The one thing that I would hope for is that I wish people collaborated more, you know, business, regulators, governments. It’s completely obvious to me that governments, banks, we’re all acting at counter purposes,” he said.

“I was in Berlin and the government, the ECB was saying lend more money and do all these things, and the regulators and examiners and boards are saying, don’t have any more exposure in Europe, what would you want?”

That is a view shared by many delegates in financial services at Davos.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global head of financials told City A.M. yesterday: “Let’s not kid ourselves that regulators aren’t politically driven.”

“European regulation has become more rule-driven and less based on principles – the US has gone in the opposite direction,” he said, shrugging.

“There’s an issue with politicians who want blood but don’t understand what a bank is... There’s an element of regulators thinking this is their time.”

In response to the radically changing landscape, he said that even multinational banks are now having to ask, “What are they going to be when they grow up?”