JPMorgan's Dimon says biggest fear is bad public policy

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer and chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, on Monday railed against what he called excessive U.S. regulations and called on Washington to come together to build a more business-friendly economy that supports workers.

“The real issue I’m worried about is bad public policy,” Dimon said, speaking at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference. “We’re leaving a lot of people behind.”

As a member of the White House’s new Strategic and Policy Forum, Dimon is part of the group of business leaders tasked with finding a way to create more jobs in the United States. Dimon joined the task force despite not supporting President Donald Trump in his campaign - a move he attributed to the need to support “the pilot” flying the airplane.

Dimon stressed that technology advancements are not the enemy of job creation.

“You’d be living in tents, hunting buffalo, and dying at 35,” were it not for developments in tech, he said. “Mankind will adjust and find other things to do as robots take their place. If it (technological developments) goes too fast, then we can create policies that make up for it.”

Dimon, who has led the bank as CEO since December 2005, shrugged off any aspirations for running for office, when asked on stage. He said it was too late for him to live as a civil servant and that he does not want to be a mayor, a senator or governor.

“You’ve got to start early. President Obama wrote two books about himself before he did anything,” Dimon said - a line that prompted laughter and applause from the hundreds of business leaders, financiers and government officials packed into the Beverly Hills Hilton ballroom.

Dimon said the government needs to spend more money on programs that provide education and work opportunities for people, particularly those in poor, economically depressed urban neighborhoods.

“I think there are legitimate complaints about what we didn’t do to help the problems of these folks,” Dimon said. “It’s a terrible thing - those inner city kids who may be a Colin Powell, a Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, and we’ll never know because we didn’t give them the opportunity that most of us had.”

Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa Shumaker