JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said that cryptocurrencies are going to be regulated as anxiety around stablecoins and the asset class more broadly has been growing in Washington.
“Blockchain can be real, stablecoins can be real,” Dimon said at the Institute of International Finance annual membership meeting, held virtually again this year. “No matter what anyone in the room thinks, nor what any libertarian thinks, nor what anyone thinks about it, government’s going to regulate it.”
A Treasury Department-led effort to regulate stablecoins favors policing them like lenders, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month. Dimon echoed his long-held views on Bitcoin, but differentiated between his personal view and how New York-based JPMorgan will deal with it.
“I personally think that Bitcoin is worthless,” Dimon said. “Our clients are adults, they disagree, that’s what makes markets, so if they want to have access to buy yourself Bitcoin, we can’t custody it but we can give them legitimate, as-clean-as-possible access.”
Also in the crypto space, Citigroup Inc. Chairman John Dugan said it would be appropriate for banks to face high capital requirements for keeping cryptocurrency assets on their balance sheets. Also in the realm of cryptocurrencies, China’s Bank of Communications Co. sees the rise of sovereign digital currencies as providing a fix to defects in the traditional monetary system, President Jun Liu said.
In technology more broadly, among the biggest challenges facing companies worldwide is the competition for tech talent, which is “off the charts,” according to Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley.
The weeklong IIF gathering kicked off Monday with finance leaders including Dimon, Staley and Dugan among the speakers.
War for Tech Talent Is ‘Off the Charts,’ Staley Says (1:05 p.m. NY)
Companies around the world are facing intense competition for labor in the technology space, said Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley.
“At a meeting with some of our shareholders the other day, I was asked how are we doing for the war for talent for investment bankers, given the activity in that market, and I said, ‘We’re doing very well in terms of war for talent for investment bankers. I don’t worry about it, the real war for talent is for programmers and engineers,’” Staley said. “The war for talent in the technology space is off the charts.”
Citi Chairman Calls Crypto Capital Demands Sound (11:45 a.m. NY)
Citigroup Inc. Chairman John Dugan said he would consider it “appropriate” for banks to face high capital requirements for holding cryptocurrency assets on their balance sheets.
New York-based Citigroup has begun facilitating cryptocurrency transactions for those clients interested in the space, Dugan said. Even so, the bank, much like many of its large rivals, doesn’t currently hold such assets, he said.
“The bank regulators, the Basel committee, has come out with recommendations to have quite high requirements for any such things and I think that’s appropriate,” he said. “The role that they’ve played with respect to ransomware has been very significant and very concerning.”
Chinese Bank Sees Digital Currency as Fix (10:50 a.m. NY)
Bank of Communications Co. sees sovereign digital currencies as providing a fix to defects in the traditional monetary system, such as excessive money supply and financial repression, said Jun Liu, president of the Chinese bank.
“The traditional way in building public trust in currency has changed,” Liu said, differentiating China’s digital yuan from other cryptocurrencies. “Without sovereignty, digital currency cannot go very far.”
China last month banned all crypto transactions and vowed to root out mining of digital assets. The government has been testing digital yuan. Shanghai-based Bank of Communications will introduce the digital currency to rural commercial banks, especially in the Yangtze River Delta region, and work with insurers to accommodate client needs, Liu said.
Basel Chair’s Close Eye on Banks (9:05 a.m. NY)
Banks have remained resilient and authorities will continue to monitor and stand ready to deploy additional measures if needed, according to Pablo Hernandez de Cos, who chairs the international Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
De Cos, who is also the head of the Bank of Spain, said he believes there will be a high adoption rate for Basel III, the voluntary standards for bank capital that will be introduced from 2023.
Santander Eyes Hybrid Post-Covid Work (8:40 a.m. NY)
Santander’s Ana Botin said staff could come back to the office most of the time, though the split between home and remote work will vary by the needs of the job, with engineers for instance needing less face-time than bank tellers.
“We’re looking at 60% to 70% in person, 30% to 40% remote. That, I would say, is the range of options we’re considering,” Botin said. “We’re still not back to normal in many places so we’re taking very much a wait-and-see approach.”
The bank, which employs 190,000 people globally, laid out a hybrid work plan for its U.S. staff in July. “Most people, most of our teams, would like flexibility but part of it, being in the office is also something they value,” said Botin.
StanChart’s Vinals Plays Down Reshoring (7:45 a.m. NY)
“The reshoring story is something which is massively overblown,” Standard Chartered Plc Chairman Jose Vinals said at the virtual meeting.
“The diversification of supply chains in order to make them more resilient, and also some shortening to bring them closer to the region, I think that’s something which is happening,” he said, referring to the shift from north to south Asia.
Supply chains globally are realigning after the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, which choked supplies of everything from cars to crab meat.
–By Stefania Spezzati and Hannah Levitt with assistance from Jenny Surane, Zijia Song and Alonso Soto (Bloomberg Mercury)