NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon promised analysts and shareholders at a conference on Wednesday that he has the correct answer to the question of when the Fed will raise interest rates
"I know I'm going to be right," Dimon warned the crowd. "[Rate hikes] are going to be sooner or later than you think, they're going to be different than you think, and someone is going to be surprised."
That wasn't the only bon mot Dimon offered Wednesday at Bernstein's 31st Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, an event that gives investors and analysts a chance to hear from an array of Fortune 500 companies including Yum Brands (YUM), McDonald's (MD), and Bank of America (BAC). Dimon spoke about rate hikes, regulation, and Silicon Valley for about an hour to the crowd gathered at New York's Waldorf Astoria.
With regard to rate hikes, Dimon was upbeat about the US economy. In a "broad-based way," he said, things are OK: people are working, discretionary spending is slowly increasing, millennials are leaving their parents' houses, and unemployment is falling. Dimon even said that unemployment might fall below 5% by the end of 2015; April's rate was 5.4%.
The finance industry in particular, though, faces challenges including heightened regulatory scrutiny, Dimon said. Last week, JPMorgan pleaded guilty to a felony antitrust charge, becoming one of four banks to admit that some employees used an electronic chat room to rig the dollar-euro exchange rate. The New York bank was fined a total of $892 million by the Justice Department and its primary regulator, the Federal Reserve.