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Congress to JPMC: how would a CBDC impact your ability to deploy capital?

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Part of my network, Jim Richards posted an update on LinkedIn the other day

which was measured and interesting. Jim is former Executive Vice-President of Financial Crimes at Wells Fargo, and knows a thing or two about the way banks work. I asked if I could share his post here, and Jim said yes, so, here it is:

Congressional advisor* and #jpmorganchase CEO Jamie Dimon was asked “how would a central bank digital currency (CBDC) impact your ability to deploy capital?” His answer, at the 1:53:15 mark, was spot on: “If it is properly done, it will be fine, but I don't trust it will be properly done. You're not going to have the Federal Reserve running call centers. There's a lot more to banking services than the actual token that moves the money.”

Bingo. Mr. Dimon's answer reminded me of a quote from the famous American philosopher Yogi Berra: “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

The theory of a CBDC has some appeal. Putting it into practice?

Congressman Sherman (D. CA) asked three bank CEOs if their bank invested in crypto mining:

Citigroup - no
Bank of America - no
Wells Fargo - not aware of any

* Unlike the CEO of Wells Fargo, who spent most of the hearing deflecting accusatory questions, many Congressmen asked Jamie Dimon for his opinion and advice. Mr. Dimon was informed, articulate, and, perhaps most refreshing, responsive to the questions. Impressive ... even Presidential.

Karen McDermott, Global Head of Financial Services Industries Marketing and Communications at SAP, is one of several people who replied:

To be fair, although they have the same title they are absolutely not the same person in any other regard. Jamie's experience and perspective is beyond any CEO that I'm aware of, in any industry. He not only has deep knowledge in the area of financial services but his mind is much broader than that, and I think he's always had an interest in potentially running for office at some point, but so did Ken Chenault and he never materialized that either.

Jamie has famously said he's a liberal in his heart and a conservative in his mind and he's always trying to marry the two to do what's right not only for shareholders but for the larger world around him as well. That's authentic, that's not a script that was written for him by a PR team.

I don't know if you've met him but he's a really unassuming man in person, really soft spoken and pretty humble on a personal level.

Interestingly, other commentators disagreed with her and Jim’s views. Checkout this link to see their views.

My take is that Jamie Dimon is well informed, but a banker. He understands how the systems work, and is very aligned with US Gov, which is why he spends a lot of time telling the crypto community that their ideas don’t work. Nevertheless, showing his objectivity, he’s happy to broker and trade cryptocurrencies if his clients want it.

Fascinating man running a fascinating company. It will be interesting to see where this dialogue goes.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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