JPMorgan's Dimon endorses trade deal, tackles central bank measures

 JPMorgans Dimon endorses trade deal, tackles central bank measures

By Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the Business Roundtable trade group of top U.S. chief executives said on Wednesday that he endorses the revised U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal after negotiators brought the hard-won agreement across the finishing line on Tuesday.

Approval of the deal by Jamie Dimon, chief executive at JPMorgan and head of the Business Roundtable, comes a day after the leaders of the three countries signed the overhaul of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which labour unions, industry groups, lawmakers and even environmental groups fought hard to improve.

During the quarterly meeting in Washington, Dimon added that the series of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve does help the economy "a little bit" but "not as much as people expect."

Dimon again pushed the central bank to reconsider its liquidity rules for banks after a fall rate spike in overnight funding markets, warning the issues seen in the "repo" market could spill over into other financial markets in a weaker economy.

"They should look at recalibrating all the rules and regulations that do affect the liquidity in the market. This is a minor one, the repo market. But it would affect other markets, and it could, that wouldn’t be so minor," he said.

He also dismissed criticisms that Wall Street may be seizing on financial market issues to push for easier rules overall.

"It’s not to help the banks. JPMorgan will be fine whether they fix it or not," he said.

Ahead of fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports that are due to kick in at the end of the week, Dimon said he expects phase-one talks of a trade deal between the Washington and Beijing to be finalised, adding that not doing so would be "negative" for markets.

Dimon further said the Fed is being "responsive" to the issues in the repo market, which underpins much of the U.S. financial system, helping ensure banks have liquidity to meet their daily operational needs.

However, he added that the current policy of providing temporary support to the market is insufficient.

"I don’t think they’ve fixed it so much as put a Band-Aid on it everyday. But they’re aware of it."

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Writing by Katanga Johnson, Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Macfie)

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2019 00:07:00 IST