JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon shares his outlook for wage inflation in 2023

The Russian war in Ukraine and U.S. relations with China are among the biggest concerns currently facing the economy, according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

“The thing I worry the most about is Ukraine,” the long-time Wall Street veteran said on Monday during an interview with Bloomberg Television. “It’s oil, gas, the leadership of the world, and our relationship with China — that is much more serious than the economic vibrations that we all have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.”

The war in Ukraine began one year ago and since then, has roiled global markets, sending the prices of key commodities like fertilizer, grain and energy soaring higher in a world already grappling with a cost-of-living crisis. The conflict — the worst seen in Europe in decades – also created a massive humanitarian crisis that has left thousands dead and millions displaced.


JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., speaks during the Institute of International Finance (IIF) annual membership meeting in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022.  (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“This is probably the most serious geopolitical thing we’ve had to deal with since World War II,” Dimon said.

The head of the biggest U.S. bank anticipates that the war could continue for many years to come.

Dimon had a slightly more optimistic outlook about the state of the U.S. economy, softening his language from last year when he warned of an economic “hurricane.” He indicated that a “soft landing” — in which the Federal Reserve successfully combats inflation without triggering a downturn — is still a possibility.

However, he warned there is still a chance of a recession.

“A mild recession is possible, a harder recession is possible,” he said. “I think there’s a good chance that inflation will come down, but not enough by the fourth quarter — the Fed may actually have to do more.”

Fed Chair Jerome Powell at podium

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, at the Federal Reserve Board Building, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin / AP Newsroom)

Central bankers are in the midst of the most aggressive campaign since the 1980s to crush stubbornly high inflation. Although the consumer price index has slowly fallen from a high of 9.1% notched in June, it remains about three times higher than the pre-pandemic average.

Economists widely expect the Fed to tip the economy into a recession with the rapid series of interest rate increases.