Davos 2024: Ray Dalio, Brian Moynihan, Peter Orszag, And More

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Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcripts of CNBC interviews which aired on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Tuesday, January 16 for Davos 2024 in Davos, Switzerland.

Interviews included: Bank of America Chairman & CEO Brian Moynihan, Lazard CEO Peter Orszag, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, DVF Founder Diane Von Furstenberg, Bridgewater Associates Founder, Co-CIO, Board Member Ray Dalio, BNY Mellon CEO Robin Vince, Nasdaq Chair & CEO Adena Friedman, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, General Atlantic Chairman & CEO William Ford, Palo Alto Networks CEO & Chairman Nikesh Arora, Breyer Capital Founder & CEO Jim Breyer, Chevron CEO Michael Wirth and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon.

Interview with Bank of America Chairman & CEO Brian Moynihan

Moynihan On Ukraine

BRIAN MOYNIHAN: It is a classic definition of walking and chewing gum when you think about it. They’re fighting to the death and the first time they came in 2022, all of us were stunned by how resolute they were in terms of fighting the war. And on the other side, they opened the Black Sea so they can ship, so they can get the grain out of the country and they’re producing that in the economy. Our teammate, Bernie Mensah, went there on Friday with Secretary Pritzker and he said you’re in Kiev, you go to a coffee shop and it feels like a normal city, there’s traffic jams and then all of a sudden, missile warning will come in so it’s much different but his message was they have to straighten out the country and the reforms have to go through while they’re fighting a war too to get the anti-corruption and the things that they’re working on as a country. They have to keep working at it because you cannot put the money in otherwise at the level so he knows that so it’s fascinating to hear him talk about it.

Moynihan On The Economy

MOYNIHAN: The consumer has been relatively strong. They’ve held in there, they continue to grow their spending so demand is there but businesses have gotten more and more cautious really facing. If you’re told that there’s going to be a decline in the economy, soft landing we predict, but still from a 4% to 5% growth rate to 1% growth rate is a steep slowdown.

Moynihan On Fed Rates

MOYNIHAN: We have to get the rate structure in a way that has more flexibility up and down and is not so glued to the floor that we can’t get up. And so I think you’ll see that play out hopefully that’ll play out because that’ll be better for U.S. and ultimately better for all the countries around the world if we can get the U.S. sort of situated with a dynamic of growth and inflation that’s much more normal and that’s what the fed is trying to engineer and they have to be careful they don’t overshoot right now.

Moynihan On Capital Requirements

MOYNIHAN: The playing field is not level now and it will get more unlevel and it’s, and so we’re saying be careful because frankly we’re well capitalized. As Joe said, we made it through a quote banking crisis last March and life went on. You know we’ve been stress testing and all this work we’ve done and you’re throwing it all out on a different theory and we’re saying is that wise given the impact on the American economy.

Interview with Lazard CEO Peter Orszag

Orszag On The Presidential Election

PETER ORSZAG: Well, first, I think it was very likely that Trump was going to be the Republican nominee before Iowa. It's more likely now but it was always very likely. Look, I think it's gonna come down it's gonna be a close election. Every election in the U.S. is going to be close because of how polarized the country is. And it comes down to fundamentally age versus abortion with African American turnout and then all the cases surrounding Trump, as you know, auxiliary players with the tip may being the economy and the economy is seen as much worse than it is. But that can change over the next—

Orszag On Inflation

ORSZAG: First, I think people misdiagnosed inflation It was mostly pandemic coming and going. That having been said, I do not think the market expectation that the Fed is going to start cutting rates anytime soon, at least until like very late in this year, is likely to play out. Just look at what Jay Powell is saying. A, B, they're going to be concerned about cutting too aggressively during an election. They will claim that they're not but they will. C, they really do not want to have to go back to quantitative easing. So holding the rate higher for longer means that you then have the opportunity to cut rates and then finally, finally, why cut rates, what's the impetus for cutting rates when A you want to make sure that you've really stamped out inflation? And secondly, the economy's not in recession.

Interview with Accenture CEO Julie Sweet

Sweet On AI Training

JULIE SWEET: We will train 250,000 people this year in gen AI and since 2019, I’ve trained every person at Accenture about 600,000 because you have people coming in on AI so in 2019, I became the CEO. I said every person in the mailroom or HR or strategist, you need to know six things. Now it is 11 and they take assessments. So one of the things I’m most passionate about is that AI can be great and we have to bring our people along.

Interview with DVF Founder Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg On Restoring Public Trust

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: I think that people are yes, it's very confusing out there. You know, you talk about money all day long. You talk about currency all day long, right? Maybe we should invent the currency of kindness, the currency of trust, the currency of truth.

Diane Von Furstenberg On DEI

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: Well, I mean, you know, everybody talks about data, right? The what about, what about impulse? What about what happens with the heart, you can't project that. So what about coincidences? So it's great to have the data and it's wonderful to go for justice. But I think we just need a little oil in the spinach.

Interview with Bridgewater Associates Founder, Co-CIO, Board Member Ray Dalio

Dalio On Presidential Election

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: If President Biden wins a second term, good for the market, bad for the market? If former President Trump wins a second term, good for the market, bad for the market?

RAY DALIO: I think they are both threatening for the markets.

SORKIN: Both are threatening for the markets?

Dalio On Neutral Portfolio

DALIO: I find that the markets right now are not either super attractive or super unattractive, generally speaking aside from the politics. And so you’re going to come into this environment where there is going to be greater risks particularly taking that factor and the world factor. So then, what is your neutral position? I have a neutral portfolio, okay. My neutral portfolio is a diversified portfolio that I won’t take the time to get into, but you go closer to your neutral portfolio.

Dalio On Taiwan

DALIO: I think that there can be a demonstration of concerns that will be more cosmetic than they will be in reality. Important changes have taken place. When I was there last March and since then, they were not talking terms. And there was a big, big risk of crossing red lines. And particularly, when we have elections here, which creates also more antagonism, that has changed. Ever since, there was the build up to the APAC agreement and so on. There’s communication now that is quality communication about how to deal with such things. SO that there’s a likelihood there will be a delegation that will go over there. But the red line is are we in favor of the independence of Taiwan.

Interview with BNY Mellon CEO Robin Vince

Vince On What 2023 Proved

ROBIN VINCE: So I think 2023 proved something to us, which we know from history, but it was a good reminder, which is being resilient and being prepared matters. And so that was a year for that. We saw that with all of the issues around asset liability management earlier in the year. We've seen it with geopolitical risks through the course of the year. And so for us, and helping our clients navigate through those environments, that's really what it's been about.

Vince On Remote Work

VINCE: We took a slightly different tact. What we prize and we think our people prize and this is part of our focus on culture at the firm is being able to be flexible. So yes, we have asked our people to come back to the office, but we haven't required them to come back five days a week, we've required three days plus, and I think there's a little bit of give and take with our people which has been very valuable. Last year, we made everyone in the in the company, a shareholder of the company with our BK shares program that's around sharing and participation so we can talk about ownership. We launched a premium free health care offering for our lowest paid employees. We launched additional mental health benefits, we were talking before we came on the air, about our December recharge where we gave two weeks free of the bureaucracy of running a company. So that's the give and take but we ask a lot of our people, we're asking them to really drive forward for our clients. We're asking them to help run the company better. And we're really focused on our culture as part of enabling that.

Interview with Nasdaq Chair & CEO Adena Friedman

Friedman On DEI Disclosure

ADENA FRIEDMAN: We continue to work with companies on managing their ESG requirements and reporting requirements. There’s still a lot of demand for that. It’s still a very complicated world in terms of satisfying investor interest. When it comes to the board disclosure rule, that really was investor driven, investor demand driven over many years actually of asking can you please provide us a more standard way for us to evaluate board diversity, so we did put that rule in place. We introduced it in 2020, implemented in 2021 and our companies are complying and it's really a very simple, straight forward disclosure rule at this point.

Friedman On AI And Financial Crime

FRIEDMAN: We also believe that innovation is absolutely critical to solving some of the biggest problems that the finance industry faces so we have been leaning very much into AI actually for a long time across the markets but also in the anti-fin crime suite that we have and making sure that we leverage the data. If you bring data together and you carry collective action on that data you can use AI algorithms to route out specific criminal behaviors, you will be much more effective in solving that problem.

Interview with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger

Gelsinger On The Future Of Personal Computers

GELSINGER: Yeah, I think this year and people I think expect that to start a little slow but accelerate as we go through the year because you're hitting a natural refresh cycle. You're four years after Covid. So that's normal a four year cycle. But there's also a Windows new operating system coming out, end of life of older one again, that's always positive. But the big thing for us is AI PC, right? And I've described it like Centrino. And if you go back in time, we had created Wi-Fi, I helped to create Wi-Fi. And sort of nothing happened for a couple of years. And then we launched the Centrino platform and all of a sudden, if you were a coffee shop, you had to have Wi-Fi. If you were a hotel, a business. And it changed the PC. You went from Excel as your key application to the browser, right, and the Internet and connectivity and change the form factor in use cases. And we think of that like the AI PC, right? It's going to drive new applications, new experiences, new form factors, and I believe there's a budding excitement for what that's going to do to the PC category starting this year. But continuing into the next couple of years and obviously we announced Core Ultra, our AI PC flagship product as you know the starting gun has now sounded. We are off.

Gelsinger On Intel Stock Optimism

GELSINGER: Part of the optimism in the stock for Intel has been we're getting the process technology back. You know, we said five nodes, four years. This audacious plan to get back to leadership. And as it's coming to life, people who might have been skeptics are saying, wow, they're making it happen. And I think with that, it's sort of like the products get better, but the foundry opportunity.

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with JPMorgan Chase Chairman & CEO Jamie Dimon on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, January 17 live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Jamie Dimon warns 'all these very powerful forces' will affect U.S. economy in 2024 and 2025

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon on bitcoin: My personal advice is don’t get involved

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon: If you don’t control the borders you’re going to destroy our country

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: But our first headliner of the morning as Joe kept alluding to, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is here. There’s about a hundred things we want to talk to you about. It’s nice to see you, sir.

JAMIE DIMON: Great to be here again.

SORKIN: But I’ll tell you where I want to start because I see that you have Ukrainian flag there on your lapel.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: And you spent some time with President Zelenskyy yesterday.

DIMON: I did.

SORKIN: Tell us about that meeting.

DIMON: He came and met with a bunch of -- first of all, I’m thrilled to be here, all of you around the world. You know, he came and met with a bunch of business leaders and people who can help think about refinancing the redevelopment of Ukraine after this terrible war is ended. So, they’re starting to think ahead. To a lot of people, how do you structure and stuff like that. But, you know, my heart goes out to the guy. I mean, people forget that every day, he wakes up in the morning, there’s a 600-mile front, there’s a million soldiers fighting off, you know, a Russian – they’ve had 300,000 casualties so far. This may go on for longer. We have to help them. We have to teach the American public that this is about freedom and democracy for the free world, and that’s what the battle being fought. And so, I hope our government gets together and, you know, finally passes these new bills, et cetera. So, I just want to show my support for Ukraine.

SORKIN: Do you think that's a message that is going to get broad support back in the United States? Because clearly, there is a huge, polarized split on this. In fact, when I talked to Zelenskyy later in the day, we talked about the prospect of former President Trump becoming the president again, and what that would mean for the support or actually lack of support for Ukraine in the future.

DIMON: I think American leadership has to explain to the American public why it’s important, has to remind them what happened in 1917, has to remind them what happened in 1941. And so while, you know, America, we have to protect America, this is America first. This is the battle zone of democracy and freedom and free enterprise. It’s affecting all the other relationships in the world. A Russian victory could cause huge problems that might -- I might write an op-ed on how the West lost and, you know, looking back from 2050 is, did we keep together the alliances, the democracies. We have to put tray back on the table. That's how important this is. This may be that turning point.

SORKIN: What do you say to the politicians back in the U.S., and even politicians in other countries around the world who say, look, we have our own problems back home, we’ve got immigration issues, other things that cost money, we have other crises that we have to contend with that we have to pay for, whether what’s happening in Gaza, or other places around the world? And where do you in the sort of stacked prioritization, do you put Ukraine?

DIMON: Very high up. I think Ukraine is about what the world is free -- may be about where the world is free and safe of democracy for a hundred years. We are screwing up tons of other things, including immigration. But life isn't either/or. So, you can't say, well, do this and do that. You’re dealt the hand you're dealt, and you got to deal with it. And so, we should be very clear about helping the lower income population, you know, every country has to control the borders, and we have to control the borders. And so they're all important.

BECKY QUICK: Would you take the deal that the Republicans have put on the table, though, which is we want this border, immigration policy, as we’ve laid out and then we'll fund the rest? Would you rather take that than neither?

DIMON: I have not read that deal in total, but I probably would take it.

QUICK: Yeah.

DIMON: We have to control the borders. We need more merit-based immigration. We need more seasonal immigration. We need DACA to have a place here. We need a path to citizenship. If you do not control the borders, you're going to destroy our country. And so, I think the people who think that somehow it is okay, so now, they're sending the migrants into New York or stuff like that, all my super liberal friends, now they realize what the problem is. Did it have to be that, you know, that we realize it? So, we want to have a big heart for the world, but we have to control the borders.

JOE KERNEN: Do you view Putin's intentions as beyond Ukraine? I mean, there are some people that think he wants the great Russia you know, he feels like it’s been, I don't want to say castrated, but it’s certainly not the Soviet Union anymore, Mother Russia. So, he wants to bring some of that back. You don't think there are certain parts he would stop? You think Poland is next? You think that there are larger intentions that are going to come? Because that -- almost a domino there, because we’ve had those --

DIMON: Yeah, I defer a little bit to people like Condi Rice and Bob Gates and all these folks who are experts. You know, he clearly has designs in a bigger, broader Russia, stuff like that. And, you know, we don't exactly know if he wins something there, what he’s going to do next. Why take a chance?

KERNEN: Right.

DIMON: I’m not looking at – you have to know the answer. We do know if we don't take a chance, we're better off if we do take a chance. So, and this is also -- remember, this is also about Iran, North Korea. I think it’s about how, you know --

KERNEN: China.

DIMON: -- how China positions itself over time.

SORKIN: Well, that's where I was going to go next, because we talked to Tony Blinken just yesterday about China, and the relationship that the U.S. has with China and the prospect of them effectively taking over Taiwan in the next, call it several years.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: What do you think the prospect of that is? And how do you think multinational businesses are supposed to react or think about that risk?

DIMON: Yeah, so we met with the Chinese premier yesterday, and look, I’m going to defer to Tony Blinken. You know, the chance with Taiwan is going to be the next fight is everyone says is rather low for a whole bunch of difference reasons. You know, China may one day have to take sides. They haven't done that. We shouldn't force them to because we can't tell other nations that how they should behave or how they should act. But I would look at China holistically. You know, the Western alliance, democracy, should stay together, keep it free, but we have to do trade --

SORKIN: Right.

DIMON: -- diplomacy, development, finance. Like we are not all over Africa and Latin America like we should be. Now, Tony Blinken actually set up a meeting with Janet Yellen and a bunch of big financial companies about how to help generate more development and finance with the World Bank, with -- you know, but here you need private capital. Private capital dwarf with these multinational institutions can do. So, it’s a holistic view. There is no simple way to deal with China and the rest of the world, but if we do it holistically, you know, you guys heard me, we have the better hand. We have food, water, energy, the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen.

SORKIN: How challenged do you think the Chinese economy is right now? And that’s one of the reasons and we heard last year actually from the president of the Taiwan, one of the reasons she thinks that actually China won't try to take the country is because they have to deal with their own challenges at home.

DIMON: I think there’s some truth to that. But I think it’s good they're here, you know? I mean, they're trying to make sure that they're open for business, that they're being fair to foreign companies. You saw the foreign direct investment for the first time kind of ever, I think, since WTO was negative this year.

QUICK: And that’s a big issue --

DIMON: And direct investment is down.

QUICK: Yeah.

DIMON: And so, you need to invigorate their own economy for their own citizens, their oath growth, their own people and that may very well play into the geopolitical view.

QUICK: But do you -- I mean, the message is that they're open for business now. I think people who have gotten burned in the past may be a little reticent before they're willing to invest more into it.

DIMON: They have -- so take financiers, they have been consistent in opening up, took a long time. So we have full license there now. But I think you know, anyone who is looking to invest in there has to be a little worried. And, you know, the risk/reward changed dramatically. And, of course, you know, a company like JPMorgan, I always say when it comes to foreign policy, Blinken decides and the president. You know, I salute, I’m an American patriot. But they want us there. They're not asking American companies to leave and, you know, being a premiere bank in China helps us educate the government. It helps us educate the world about China. We bank I’m going to say 1,000 multinationals in China. So, obviously, we’ve got to be careful, and the laws have changed and we have to change with the laws both in China and America. And we're actively doing that.

SORKIN: How do you see the U.S. economy playing itself out over the next 12 months? This is an election year. We talked about what took place in Iowa.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: And trying to understand how the American public is going to feel about the economy may ultimately dictate how the president is decided.

DIMON: Yes, I agree with that. I think it’s a mistake to assume everything is hunky-dory. And, you know, when stock markets were up, it’s like this little drug we all feel, like it’s just great, you know? But remember, we had so much fiscal monetary stimulation. So I’m a little more on the cautious side, that we are facing a lot of things in '24 or '25 and we mentioned Ukraine, the terrorist activity in Israel, the Red Sea, quantitative tightening which I still question if we understand exactly how it works, I don't think we do. How QE actually works. What the effect of negative -- zero rates all this time, and obviously the politics. And, you know, and then the Ukrainian war is affecting oil, gas, food, migration. So, you have all these very powerful forces that are going to be affecting us in '24 and '25. So, if I was the government, I would be preparing for what I’m going to do about that assuming things aren't good. And I just also want to point out, I wish the Democrats would think a little more carefully when they talk about MAGA, you know? And if you travel this country, you know and the country is unbelievable. We took a bus trip this year, Leslie Picker was on -- Spokane and Boise and Bozeman. People are growing. They're hungry to grow. They're innovating. It’s everywhere. It’s not just Silicon Valley. So, we got this great hand. But when people say MAGA, they're actually looking at people voting for Trump and they think they're voting -- and they're basically scapegoating them, that you are like him, but I don't think they're voting for Trump because of his family values. If you look at, just take a step back, be honest. He's kind of right about NATO. Kind of right about immigration. He grew the economy quite well.

KERNEN: China virus.

DIMON: Tax reform worked. He was right about some with China. I don't like what he did --

KERNEN: I said China virus.

DIMON: I don't like how he said things about Mexico, I don’t like -- but he wasn't wrong about some of these critical issues. And that's why they're voting for him. And I think people should be a little more respectful of our fellow citizens and when you guys have people up here, you should always ask the why. Not like it is a binary thing, you support Trump, you're not supporting Trump. Why you’re supporting Trump?

KERNEN: It’s hard to hate 75 million of your fellow Americans, it’s --

DIMON: I agree. And the Democrats have done a good job with the deplorables, hugging their bibles and their beer and their guns. I mean, really? Can we stop that stuff and actually grow up and treat other people respectfully and listen to them a little bit? And I do think the economy will affect -- I think this negative talk about MAGA is going to hurt Biden's election campaign.

KERNEN: Right. So, I want to get back to the $34 trillion that we got, because it seemed like when rates were going up and we thought the Fed was going to keep going higher for longer, it looked like some of that was coming home to roost because the auctions weren't going well. It’s like, wow, debt service is much more expensive. This is going to hurt. Suddenly, the pat answer is, well, we're already through that. Rates are coming down again. So, the $34 trillion is suddenly okay again and I don't think it works that way, does it?

DIMON: Yeah, I think people are making a mistake. I think it is going to come to bite. You know, that could be in three years, in five years, in seven years. I think it may bite in the markets way before that because the market makers don't have the -- because of regulations, don't have the capabilities to make markets like they used to. So, we can easily handle it, but restricted by all these rules. And you're absolutely correct, if my numbers are right, in 1980, debt to GDP was 35 percent. We spent 5 percent of the deficit to, because of recession. Now debt to the GDP is 100 percent. The deficit is 6 percent. And it’s in a boom time. And, of course, it feels pretty good because you’re spending that money, it seems to be working. I think governments are starting to feel omnipotent and central banks. I’d be much more cautious if I were them.

KERNEN: Because we don't use the word crowding out anymore. Doesn't the private sector get crowded out?

DIMON: Don’t know until happens.


DIMON: Like I said, we feel good -- you know, but when the government spends a trillion dollars more, what happens? People have more money in the pockets.

KERNEN: Right.

DIMON: Corporate profits go up. People spend more. Stock markets go up. It creates liquidity.

KERNEN: But you owe money on that though.

DIMON: Exactly.

QUICK: There’s a lot of money that’s going to continue to be spent on bills that have already passed this next year. Your outlook for the economy is so different than what we’ve heard from so many other people that it worries me because we make the case that a lot of times, Davos is the antithesis in terms of -- they're always wrong on what they're predicting on things. Are you making these predictions as a premiere risk assessor, somebody who’s looking at these things? Or are you making this like as an idea of this is the more likely case scenario?

DIMON: No, a risk assessor. I mean, it’s very important distinction is that you got to look at all these factors and you got to look at different points in time. You can't like look at, oh, it feels pretty good today. And so, a lot of people, when you come up here, it’s about how they feel… what they see. But, you know, these forces, you mention, like, when I look at inflation, the green economy is inflationary, the IRA Act is inflationary, whatever restructuring trade happens is inflationary, the remilitarization of the world is inflationary. Deficits are inflationary. And that -- you can't sit here and say that won't have any effect at all.

KERNEN: Right.

DIMON: And that stuff is cumulative.

KERNEN: Right.

DIMON: It’s like you guys saw this article recently about the cumulative, negative effect on work from home on young people. Well, we spoke about that two years ago. You know, you can kind of see that these kids aren't coming in, they’re not meeting people, they’re not learning enough. So, do you have to wait for it to actually happen to figure out that might be what happens?

QUICK: Most of the time, yeah.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: I want to go back to your comment about Biden and Trump, because you effectively made a case for Trump in some ways. We had --

DIMON: I made a case for respect of Trump's voters.

SORKIN: So, we had Bill Ackman on the program last week, who’s wanted you to be – run for president for a very long time, as you know, and he's been a long time Democrat.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: And he effectively said that he thought that Biden was just too old and effectively opened the door to possibly voting for President Trump. I’m curious when you just look at the candidates from -- as a CEO of a multinational global business, what do you think will be better for the business?

DIMON: Yeah. Remember when I gave opinions in the U.K., I got nasty emails from all of the people in the U.K., like, leave, get out of here, Yankee. Right. I have to be prepared for both. I will be prepared for both. We will deal with both. My company will survive and thrive in both, you know? I hope the country survives in both. And so I hope, whoever it is, like is respectful of other people, you know? And it’s not about retribution. It’s about growing the economy and helping people. And, you know, if you talk about America first, I always say, you know, no president is going to run for president and say, America second. Of course, it’s America first. But America first has multiple different reasons, which has changed over time, you know? And when Washington was president, you know, don't get involved in European things. Well, we got involved, two major ones – to save the world for democracy and freedom. And this country is the arsenal of democracy and the bastion of freedom. So, you know, I hope whoever is president does that.

SORKIN: Can we pivot to a topic I know you find sort of laborious at this point?

KERNEN: Good word.

SORKIN: Which is bitcoin.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: This ETF was approved, just about a week ago now, and I think a lot of people are trying to understand what it ultimately means.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: JPMorgan, I imagine, if you're a client of JPMorgan, you could call your broker and say, get me some of this ETF. What are you telling – what did you tell your brokers to tell them back when they make that call?

DIMON: Yeah. So, this is an important thing. This is the last time I ever talk about this on CNBC, okay, so help me God. Blockchain is real. It’s a technology. We use it. It’s going to move money. It’s going to move data. It’s efficient. We’ve been talking about that for 12 years, too, and it’s very small, okay? So I think we wasted too many words on that. Cryptocurrencies, there are two types. There’s a cryptocurrency which might actually do something. Think of a cryptocurrency as a – contract in it, and that we can use it to buy and sell real estate, or move data. That may have value.

SORKIN: The idea of tokenizing things.

DIMON: Tokenizing things that you do something with. And then there’s one which does nothing. I call it the pet rock, the bitcoin, something like that. And so on the bitcoin, you know, there is -- I’m not trying to make a joke here. There are use cases, AML, fraud, anti-money laundering, tax avoidance, sex trafficking, those are real use cases and you see it being used for hundreds, maybe $50 billion or $100 billion a year for that. That is the end use case. Everything else is people trading among themselves. So --

SORKIN: Speculate, you --

DIMON: Yeah. Now, okay, now my last statement, the last time I’m ever talking about bitcoin is I defend your right to do bitcoin. I think, you know, it’s okay.


DIMON: I don't want to tell you what to do. So my personal advice is don't get involved but I don't want to tell any one of you to do, it’s a free country. And so --

SORKIN: What do you think of – what do you make of Blackrock? What do you make of other firms? The Blackrocks of the world that obviously -- and Larry Fink changed his view of this obviously.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: And maybe he changed his view because you think he genuinely believes in bitcoin or believes it because he thinks there is a marketplace for it and he wants to be part of the market. But what do you think of the – and there’s about a dozen big financial companies, Fidelity included --

DIMON: Number one, I don't care. So, just please stop talking about this s—, and I don't know what he would say about Blockchain versus currencies that do something versus bitcoin that does nothing. Maybe that’s not different than me. But, you know, this is what makes the market. People have opinions. This is the last time I’m ever stating my opinion.

KERNEN: Gold really didn't do anything either.

DIMON: Yeah, but gold is limited in supply.

KERNEN: So is bitcoin.

DIMON: And it’s been using – ah, so you think so, huh?


DIMON: I think there is a good chance that when bitcoin – when we get to 20 million bitcoins that --

KERNEN: Forty-two million, they go to 42?

DIMON: No, that Satoshi is going to come on there, laugh hysterically, go quiet, all bitcoin is going to be erased.

KERNEN: I think --

DIMON: How the hell do you know it’s going to stop at 21? I’ve never met one person who told me they know for a fact they take --

KERNEN: Mathematically, it’s going to -- it can’t happen because by the last one will be mined in 2150, and it gets harder and harder every time there’s another halving. But, Jamie, looking back over –

DIMON: You just do what you want and I’ll do what I want.

KERNEN: As for gold, you can -- the six characters that make gold valuable for 4,000 years, they’re all present in bitcoin. That’s all I’m saying. I love you and I don't want to – I also don't want to be a –

DIMON: You may Joe, you may be right.


DIMON: I don't own gold either. So, okay.

KERNEN: That is what I mean.

SORKIN: Couple of quick final questions.

DIMON: I like to own things that pay me incomes, that doesn't cost money to carry. Anyway. It costs money to carry bitcoin, too, by the way.

SORKIN: We talked a lot about commercial real estate here in Davos. There’s a big 60 Minutes piece on Sunday –

DIMON: Oh, yeah. But I think there’s another risk to bitcoin, if you can't solve the bad use cases, the government is probably going to have to close it down. So, that –

KERNEN: The thing about the money laundering -- here's the -- the number was 20,000 I think for U.S. dollars in money laundering and it was 35 for how much is done with bitcoin. So, at this point, the dominant –

DIMON: Ransomware is 20 to 30 billion we know about –

KERNEN: -- but the dominant – I know, but the dominant – historically, the dominant currency for money laundering has been U.S. dollar.

DIMON: I understand.


SORKIN: Quickly, commercial real estate.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: Do you have a take? We’ve been talking to a number of investors who have been sitting here talking about that it means to the debt markets, what it means to some of the smaller banks. Obviously, you have a big building going up, by the way, in New York.

DIMON: Yeah.

SORKIN: But the three-day week, what that’s going to mean longer term?

DIMON: Yeah. So, first of all, I think the value of old stuff, old financial assets in America is like $140 trillion, commercial office real estate is like $1.2 trillion.


DIMON: $600 billion on bank books. A lot of that is corporate owned and stuff like that. Let me divide into three pieces. If we have a soft landing, which is possible, and rates don't go higher, which is possible, could be a small problem. If we have a hard landing, and rates don't go higher, it’d be a bigger problem. If we have a hard landing with higher rates which I still think is possible, it will be a bigger problem.

QUICK: Because inflation goes up, even –

DIMON: Interest rates are, like, cosmological constant.

QUICK: Yeah.

DIMON: Anything which has cash flow is worth less, and obviously, if there’s a recession, less need for space and all the things that happened in recession and stuff like that. So I don't know how it’s going to affect, you know, work from home is a whole different thing. Our building is unbelievable if you haven’t seen it, walk by.

SORKIN: It’s going up quick.

QUICK: Yeah.

KERNEN: You know what I love about you Jamie, and I’ve told you this many times, you said one time, I’m just barely a Democrat. Today, all the things you said about MAGA, what you're saying is really to try to help the Democratic Party because it’s tough love is what you're using. You are not MAGA. You're not going to turn into a Republican, I don't think. But you realize –

DIMON: I always say, I have a Democratic heart and a Republican brain.

KERNEN: Exactly.

DIMON: And I do think more and more, the Republicans – that the Democrats have big hearts and very small brains. They should be a little more thoughtful about policy and how things work.

KERNEN: If on the front end, all the things you're doing to try and help people actually on the back end up hurting them, you need to cop to that someday.


KERNEN: Eventually. And they don't.

DIMON: I’ll come confess here if that ever happens.

KERNEN: No, not you, I’m saying the Democratic Party --

DIMON: Oh, oh,

KERNEN: No, I’m not talking about you.

DIMON: Yeah.

KERNEN: The Democrat Party needs to say, look, we tried all these things and we made things worse. So, you know, at least cop to it.

DIMON: I also want to point, when I go to D.C all the time, we spend a lot of time on I will call the wing nuts, there are a lot of centrist Republicans, Democrats, who if they sat here, you’d have to –

KERNEN: It might be a majority, it might be 80 percent.

DIMON: It might be –

QUICK: I don't understand, like –

DIMON: Well, partially, you invite the wing nuts on more –

QUICK: No, no, we invite –

DIMON: Not you guys, I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about like CNN and Fox --

KERNEN: We'll just give you a half hour.

DIMON: Yeah.

QUICK: Yeah.

DIMON: Yeah, I’m going to start charging you guys, by the way.

SORKIN: Jamie Dimon, thank you very, very much for joining us.

DIMON: Thank you. Enjoyed it.

SORKIN: Appreciate it. Thank you again.

DIMON: Thank you.

Interview with Canyon Partners CEO Josh Friedman

Friedman On Fed Cuts

JOSH FRIEDMAN: It's a tough business trying to outguess personal choices on these things. But in my view, as long as the unemployment rate continues low, which it’s likely to, it's been under 4% for 23 months in a row now, as long as the stock market remains pretty strong and valuations remain elevated, as long as there's a ton of federal spending that's going to take place where the money's been allocated and it will be spent. It seems like there's enough tailwind that the Fed doesn't really have to engage in great rate cuts. And they maintain a lot more flexibility to contain the last bit of inflation, which is always the most stubborn part by being slower than the market anticipates. There's a pretty big disparity. I think between the market's expectations and what economists expect right now. I'd be more on the side of the economist personally.

Friedman On California Being A Challenging Real Estate Market

FRIEDMAN: California is a challenged market. There's a lot of out migration, there's changing use of properties, etc. So and we do have some equity investments in real estate and I think right now the market is struggling to figure out what cap rates even are in commercial real estate.

Friedman On The Three-Day Work Week

FRIEDMAN: I don't think so. I think people are coming back to work. I think people like being in the office. I think people who run businesses like people in the office.


FRIEDMAN: And I think that businesses run better when people are in office. so I think that I don't really think that's the essence of it.

Interview with NYSE CEO Lynn Martin

Martin On IPO Market

LYNN MARTIN: It hasn't been great. You haven't seen the amount of deal flow that you saw in 2021 for example, but you know, I look at those two different years as two different tails on the bell curve if you if you will. The public markets have always been open. You referenced Kenvue, you referenced Birkenstock those are two huge deals that actually got done last year and got done a good prices, and their stocks are trading quite well in the secondary markets. It's always been a question of valuation and what value founders would expect to achieve in the public markets and importantly, what does the volatility look like? So it's not just about day one, what different systemic issues are in the market that can influence the volatility of secondary trading.

Martin On 2024 IPO Market

MARTIN: I'm incredibly optimistic about 2024 and the pipeline of companies that we're working with. We actually had an IPO last week to open the markets Smith Douglas Homes, who had an incredibly successful IPO, particularly given the industry that they operate in. Priced at the high end of the range, stock opened up 15% on IPO day and has continued to trade at that level. Gives us a lot of reason for optimism, and we're working with quite a few companies who are on the road at the moment to debut them in the next couple of weeks. So I think you're gonna start to see some companies come out in the next couple of weeks, not just in the next couple of months.

Interview with Carlyle Group Founder David Rubenstein

Rubenstein On Fed Rates

DAVID RUBENSTEIN: Nobody really knows of course and trying to predict what this Fed’s going to do is difficult but the Fed does generally telegraph what it's going to do pretty much in advance—

JOE KERNEN: Know what the economy is going to do and that’s what we need to deal with.

RUBENSTEIN: Well, look, Jay Powell says I'm very data driven. The Fed is data driven. So have a look at what the data says right now. It's too early to say.

KERNEN: You need to tell me what the data is going to be.

RUBENSTEIN: Well, they're not going to make their next decision till March. So there have a meeting in January but they'll just look at the data and they'll wait until March before they do anything almost certainly. The concern that I've had is that when you get into a presidential election year, it's very difficult to cut rates when you're right in the middle of a presidential election season because the party that's out of power will say well, you're trying to help the party in power. Now Jay Powell is Republican presumably is not trying to help Biden but he's trying to do what's right for the country. So if he starts cutting rates significantly in September, October, November, or before the election, November, people will say, well, you're helping, you're helping the Democrats. And I don't think he wants that.

Rubenstein On Inflation

RUBENSTEIN: Well, the law was changed when I was in government so that the Fed has to worry about not only inflation, but also by unemployment. However, fed shares are known in history for what they did on inflation, either getting it up or getting it down. And I think Paul Volcker is famous for not worrying about unemployment but worrying about inflation. Right. And he got it down. I think Jay Powell will go down in history for having done a good job if he gets the inflation rate down to close to 2%

Interview with EY CEO Carmine Di Sibio

Di Sibio On Slowdown

CARMINE DI SIBIO: You know what we have been seeing is there is definitely been a slowdown around the world, slowdown in our business so good way to gauge is to look at our business and look at our consulting business in particular. So that has gone through a slowdown. Companies have been spending less, they have been doing less on transformations and so forth. In particular in the U.S., actually in Europe, that has continued which, you know, to some people that’s surprising. But I do think Europe was catching up a little bit on this.

Di Sibio On Workforce And Layoffs

DI SIBIO: We were in a situation where our attrition rate, post Covid, our attrition rate was 25, 27%. You know there was the great resignation and so forth. That went down to the single digits very quickly and so in our business, when that goes down a lot, we end up with more people than we need in the short-term. We have been very careful at certainly adjusting our workforce. We also have to adjust our workforce with technology coming forward. But we want to make sure we’re investing in the downturn for when things do come back.

Interview with Pagsgroup Founder & CEO and Celtics Co-Owner Steve Pagliuca

Pagliuca On Pro Sports Partnering With ESPN

PAGLIUCA: Adam will determine that you know he's been brilliant in terms of our media relations. And so the NBA has been great at looking at new models, you know, looking at streaming, looking at partnerships, and and if it works out if he if he if he thinks it'll work out I think we'll back him.

Interview with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Khosrowshahi On EV Transition

DARA KHOSROWSHAHI: We continue to lean forward, but we see the pullback. I think that the key is that for us, we view electrification as a good business. If you look at our riders about 40% of our riders now, for example, in the U.S., have been in an EV and they love the product. Their average tips are higher for the drivers, so the drivers who got to an EV, our take rate is lower, so they’re making more money from us. Making more money because the tips are higher, so both drivers and riders love what we’re seeing. But then per Tesla, we have to go to OEMs and get them to lower prices and make it more affordable for drivers to make that switch.

Khosrowshahi On Drizly Shutdown

KHOSROWSHAHI: It committed us to move faster to build this one app for every delivery need that you need so it’s worked out for us in the end and alcohol delivery is one of the fastest growing parts of our business but it wasn’t working as a stand-alone. That’s one of the challenges a lot the smaller tech companies that are private who can’t get funded anymore is because these small stand-alone use cases don’t justify the returns on capital, but putting these products inside an Uber and Uber Eats makes a lot of sense.

Khosrowshahi On AI

KHOSROWSHAHI: The new version of AI, which is Generative AI, we’re very focused on, for example, productivity measures, helping our developers be more productive in writing code, our customer service agents provide better service once they, summary of what they’re doing, what the rules are, etc. It is very early, but I do think that properly used Generative AI will be a huge productivity saver for companies around the world, not just tech companies.

Interview with ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott

McDermott On Generative AI Productivity

MCDERMOTT: It's an amazing once in a generation moment, where generative AI meets the ServiceNow platform. So we now have engineers texting to actually code. So instead of all the setup, where you can text a blueprint to actually build a net new application to drive innovation in a company, and the cycle time to do that has been reduced dramatically because you're getting right to the coding process.

Interview with Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman

Schwarzman On European Real Estate

STEVE SCHWARZMAN: Right now, European real estate is very interesting, which probably is a surprise to people but what’s happening is that interest rates were really, in Europe, were negative, so people could borrow money very cheaply. Now their cost of money 500 or 600 basis points higher so people who use debt to town their portfolios really are struggling and they have to pay down debt, so they have to sell assets. We’re one of the few people in the world who have a lot of money and like to buy things.

Schwarzman On Buying

SCHWARZMAN: People approach us with portfolios to buy, and we say thank you for the opportunity, but we’re only interested in buying a few types of real estate we want to buy more warehouses, more student loans, one or two other classes. So, if you could take this pile of stuff back and just give us what we like, we’ll buy it all so what tends to happen is they go back and they find all of this stuff of the type. We’ll buy, and they sell it, and they often bring their best stuff so we’re able to buy wonderful pieces of real estate at prices that work for us, and they get liquidity, and this is the start of what we call a distressed cycle for those owners.

Schwarzman On China

SCHWARZMAN: The Chinese, I think, have decided that they really need to reengage with the world for their own reasons. Right now, they have a negative foreign direct investment. This is a terrible situation for them and they want to reverse it.

Schwarzman On 2024 Election

SCHWARZMAN: I think we have an interested presidential election now. They are very high negatives, as you know, for both candidates. That’s assuming we know who gets nominated right now. It looks certain on the democratic side straight line, because nobody else is running. There’s still some other people in the Republican one, though they’ll all be experts, you know, say it’s going to be, you know, former President Trump so I’m in the let’s wait and see and see how this works. I’m, not into the hypothetical world yet as much as you’d like me to be and we’ll see what happens. There are always surprises in these elections.

Interview with Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey

Quincey On Inflation

QUINCEY: The main story is moderating inflation, coming into the landing zone, back to the classic story of earning the right for pricing.

Quincey On AI

QUINCEY: We’ve used artificial intelligence to design a coke drink, a coke variant. We had a program called coke creations, still have a program called coke creations, which is about making flavors that people can engage with, whether it was from space or Marshmallow the DJ, you thought it was a food and no, it was a DJ, and then artificial intelligence designed a version, which was cool and very engaging for people. I think the challenge is now, as we take those sort of applications of drinks, and we had a program at Christmas where you could make a coke Christmas card with AI. You could tell it what you wanted to be in the picture and it would make a Christmas card for you, and we put them up on Times Square, thousands of them. Next year, this year, 2024, it’s about, can we turn cool ideas into ideas at scale? Can this Generative A.I operate at massive scale for us.

Quincey On Interest Rates And Marketplace

QUINCEY: We make over 75% of the profits outside the U.S., and as the world economy has grown, the importance of emerging markets has gone up a lot for us, and so not all these currencies are hedge-abl. We certainly do hedge and start to spread out. I think we’re likely at the moment to see a bit more stability in the marketplace that’s certainly what’s happened so far this year long-term period of dollar strengthening. I think it’s all going to be who goes down when on interest rates is going to make a bit of difference, but we’ll have a hedge program. We’re committed to our investors that we’ll find a way to grow the earnings of the company while we manage the—

Interview with Inflection AI CEO & DeepMind Co-Founder Mustafa Suleyman

Interview with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

Interview with Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon

Interview with General Atlantic Chairman & CEO William Ford

Interview with Palo Alto Networks CEO & Chairman Nikesh Arora

Interview with Breyer Capital Founder & CEO Jim Breyer

Interview with Chevron CEO Michael Wirth

Interview with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon

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The post above is drafted by the collaboration of the Hedge Fund Alpha Team.