“I regret and should not have made that comment,” he said in a statement to the media. “I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company.”
On Tuesday, during a speech at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, he cited JPM’s activity in China.
“We hope to be there for a long time,” Dimon said. “The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer.”
The wager apparently is on. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper, responded in a blog: “I bet the Chinese Communist Party will outlast the United States of America.”
Dimon may have felt an apology was necessary, given that JPM has a $20 billion exposure to China, according to Bloomberg’s calculation based on JPM filings.
“I regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture,” Dimon said.
In August JPM garnered approval from the Chinese government to fully own its China securities venture.
Dimon’s apology didn’t help JPM shares much Wednesday. They recently traded at $167.08, down 0.71%. They have soared 33% year to date amid enthusiasm over the U.S. economic recovery and anticipation of a Federal Reserve rate hike as early as the middle of next year.