Letter from April 4, 2022
High Level Notes
Wages rising, inflation rising to cool overheated economy, consumer confidence declining despite rise in consumer spend, global slow down from the war, no more quantitative easing, more Fed hikes that could increase volatility
US economy still very strong
American leaders to focus on being bi-partisan and R&D
US gas prices pushed to all time high, gas shortages, global energy system is weak as exposed by the war
Huge push for American global leadership
Role of banks in financial services is declining
Bank share of mortgage originations from 91% to 32%
Bank share of leveraged loans from 46% to 13% in last 20 years
Neobanks have 50mm users in the US at LEAST
M&A / consolidation expected for the 4k+ small banks in the US
JPMC has outperformed for 2 decades
Both market and competitors
Corporate lending is the majority of group lending
Only GS outperforms on costs and RoE
JPM is Investing in people
$2.5bn / $6bn of JPM spend is on people for RETENTION
Salary is not enough, better tools are needed
JPM is Investing in acquisitions
JPMC is actually entering new markets instead of exiting
GS is the only other major bank that is pursuing more geographic expansion
JPM is Investing in tech but must continue to grow
JPMC has spent $5bn on acquisitions on 18 months
Focused on global retail footprint and cloud migration
Adding 25% to capex à real execution and commitment here!
Focus on leadership
Jamie Dimon is a thought leader – track record and thought leadership speaks for itself
People want to stay at JPM actually, unlike cough cough GS
Takeaways & Commentary
Benefits of having a massive balance sheet
JPM is diversified its BS across payments, lending, cap markets, retail, etc.
Diversity is key to scaling and hedging
Build a strong foundation and execute
Banking is the bread and butter for big companies like JPM and Citi
JPM has improved, however, other parts such as payments, currency support, internal ops
E.g. Liink = bank network to share info about SWIFT --> increase payments speed with fewer failures
E.g. JPM still focused on building its own coin. Still piloting and grinding. Other banks have ceased.
All these slow progresses are building towards long term growth in market share and building a competitive edge against and with fintechs
Fintech = biggest threat
Kind of epic that they actually address this and are actively trying to keep up and compete
Most banks have given up spaces in low income customers, BNPL, etc. to fintechs. Or worked with Apple Pay to get access to more customers but at a cost of % revenue
JPM launched a UK Chase checking account and attempted Finn by Chase although that did not work out
I like his call for another Marshall plan for energy
OG was in 1948 to help Western Europe post WW2 to ensure energy security
Calling Europe to become energy independent from Russia
World to transition to lower / zero carbon energy
Need a plan not just fake empty words. Who knows what will happen here but better to say something than nothing.
State of regulation unfairly benefits fintechs
… don’t really agree with this? It depends on how you look at it I guess
Banks have more regulatory burden than fintechs. Yes, lending as moved into shadow banking and banks have tons of compliance stuff to do.
Criticizing the Durbin amendment (banks <$10bn assets can boost interchange revenue)
Durbin allowed neobanks to boostrap. E.g. Varo, Chime.
Gave lower income customers a better product more suited for them. Helped increase financial inclusion. Objectively a good thing for consumers.
Neobanks can be good incumbent bank customers too.
JPMC has adapted by working with fintechs, trying to build more fintech products, and treating fintechs as customers
So basically yes fintechs have gotten some favorable regulation. But unfairly is kinda much don’t you think? Incumbent banks play in a different field and have been around for decades if not centuries. The standards should not be the same.
Weird Flex on APIs (JPM has 1000+)
Quality > Quantity of APIs, okay?
But yes having APIs is very tech forward and I really laud JPM for developing them to promote open banking
Where JPM is good
Actually investing in tech and the world
Actually investing in its people
Putting out thought leadership
Thinking long term not just about quarterly bottom lines, seems less lip service than other big banks
Where JPM has gaps
APIs – quality over quantity. Flexing 1000 APIs isn’t really a huge flex
Crypto / defi