Jamie Dimon

MONEY & BUSINESS: Jamie Dimon warns Congress over debt ceiling drama

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US lawmakers risk a global economic crisis if they are unable to reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon warned Thursday.

During an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dimon called on lawmakers to end political infighting and reach a resolution on a new debt limit as soon as possible.

“We should never question the creditworthiness of the United States government. That is sacrosanct, it should never happen,” Dimon said.

“Of course, Democrats can blame Republicans and the Republicans can blame the Democrats. I don’t care who blames who — even questioning it is the wrong thing to do,” Dimon added. “That is part of the financial structure of the world. This is not something we should be playing games with at all.”

Congress remained deadlocked this week as the federal government ran up against its $38.381 trillion borrowing limit. The stalemate raised the risk of an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic US debt default unless Democratic and Republican leaders can reach an agreement.

“Americans should understand that the American financial system is basically the crux of the financial system of the world and we shouldn’t play with it,” Dimon said.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday that her department has implemented “extraordinary measures” to maintain government operations. The maneuvers will keep the government functional through June 5.

“I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” Yellen wrote in the letter.

Jamie Dimon urged Congress to reach a solution on the debt ceiling.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Janet Yellen
The Treasury Department implemented “extraordinary measures” this week.

In a separate letter to McCarthy last week, Yellen stressed that US debt default would “cause irreparable harm to the US economy, the livelihoods of all Americans, and global financial stability.”

Republicans hold a slim majority in the House and have refused to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts. Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the limit should be raised “without conditions.”

Treasury Dept
The federal government hit its debt limit this week.
AFP via Getty Images

“Why create a crisis over this?” McCarthy said earlier this week. “I mean, we’ve got a Republican House, a Democratic Senate. We’ve got the president there. I think it’s arrogance to say, ‘Oh, we’re not going to negotiate about pretty much anything,’ and especially when it comes to funding.”

With Post wires

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