Jamie Dimon says: “The widening wealth gap and rising inflation … hurt the global economy at almost every turn.”


What a difference 25 years can make. The world today is a significantly different place than the world that existed when MarketWatch began in October 1997.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM,
+1.66%
CEO Jamie Dimon put it right when we caught up with him about the state of the global economy and markets and his outlook for both.

Over the past 25 years, since MarketWatch’s inception, the world has become more polarized and unstable. And in the last few years alone, this is truer than ever. The pandemic, the killing of George Floyd, the war in Ukraine, and supply chain disruptions—in the context of a growing wealth gap and rising inflation—have deepened divisions, widened the wealth gap, and hurt the global economy at nearly every turn.

Frankly, we live in a very different era now than even five years ago when MarketWatch celebrated its 20th anniversary.

First, markets have been in a virtual free fall lately, driven down by richer borrowing costs, as the Federal Reserve tries to quell anxiously and stubbornly high inflation.

Five years ago, the 10-year Treasury TMUBMUSD10Y,
4.023%
it was yielding 2.32% compared to the current 4%. The benchmark federal funds rate was between 1% and 1.25%, currently between 3% and 3.25%, with expectations that the Fed would raise rates by at least three quarters of a percentage point early next month.

Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-1.34%,
S&P 500 index SPX,
-2.37%
and Nasdaq Composite Index COMP,
-3.08%
all are in or near bear market territory.

Certainly we are up sharply from where the markets were 25 years ago, but the recent decline, particularly Russia’s intervention in Ukraine on February 24, has rippled across global markets, fueling the energy dilemma in Europe and unnerving investors. Impact of price pressures based on the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are uncertain times and it can feel like the world has never been more confused.

I’ve been privileged to help oversee this site this year, and the swings in stocks and bonds and the concerns of many of our readers have made it clearer than ever that our editors and reporters have a huge responsibility: trust financial journalism with the masses and build on the legacy of MarketWatch.

Or as Dimon points out:

News organizations with MarketWatch’s reputation and reach are needed more than ever to cover the issues of the day—bringing much-needed facts and unbiased analysis to help the public and policymakers make the best choices for society as a whole.

Our evolution as an organization has seen us tend to expand our scope and reach with our Best New Ideas in Money festival featuring notable attendees such as Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. legendary activist investor Carl Icahn.

In fact, Icahn warned that the worst “is yet to come” for the markets. Of course, we can hope that he is wrong. But there are a number of ways to think about such predictions. Because with fear comes opportunity.

Blackstone’s BX,
-2.54%
Jonathan Gray, chief operating officer of the private equity giant, told MarketWatch on Thursday that investors who are patient enough to wait out the volatility can reap rich rewards.

Gray expressed his concern about the wealth gap and political division that are hindering America’s ability to collectively address its current challenges.

For MarketWatch, uncertainty adds value to our daily mission of providing our audience with the information and context they need to make better financial decisions.

In November, when the battle between Republicans and Democrats reaches its peak in the US midterm elections, times can be dangerous indeed. While Democrats have focused on abortion and voting rights in their campaigns, Republicans have focused on immigration as well as inflation and crime rates, and the emotion surrounding these issues has fueled anxiety among voters.

For his part, Dimon observed that real progress “doesn’t happen overnight or just by working with like-minded people.”

“As we move forward,” he said, “businesses, community leaders and politicians must embrace this spirit and come together to make the global economy and society better off.”

It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment, of course, here at MarketWatch, a quarter century after our founding, the democratization of financial news and information remains our guiding principle as we, in Dimon’s words, “try to shed light on the issues. day.”

Further reading:

JPMorgan CEO Dimon says inflation has yet to dampen consumer spending, but give it time

Jamie Dimon says stocks could fall “another easy 20%” and the next drop will be “more painful than the first”.

Big banks kick off third-quarter earnings season: JPMorgan profits fall but beat estimates, Morgan Stanley misses



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