JPMorgan profit up despite 'stupid' state of US politics – USA TODAY

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JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank by assets, said its second quarter earnings rose 13%, reflecting more loans to customers and robust investment banking business. 

Net income for the three-month period was $7 billion, compared with $6.2 billion a year ago. Earnings per-share were $1.82, easily beating the $1.59 estimated by analysts who were polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“We continued to post very solid results against a stable-to-improving global economic backdrop,” said CEO Jamie Dimon in a statement. “The U.S. consumer remains
healthy.”

Revenue spiked 5% to $26.4 billion. 

Shares of JPMorgan fell 1.9% to $91.30 in Friday morning trading.

The consumer and community banking unit, JPMorgan’s largest business division that operates Chase Bank, reported $11.4 billion in revenue, flat from a year ago. But the year-ago quarter included a revenue gain from “non-core items” related to the sale of Visa Europe interests, it said. The unit’s net income was $2.2 billion, a 16% drop.

But demand for the unit’s consumer and business banking services was robust. Its revenue grew 13% as consumers and businesses deposited more money and sought more loans. The loan volume increased 9%. Deposits averaged $640 billion, up 10%.

Credit card sales volume also jumped 15%, while merchant sales processing rose 12%. 

Investment banking revenue climbed 13% to $3.1 billion, “with strength across products,” it said. Its global investment banking fees were the highest in the industry, it said.

Its commercial banking unit, which serves corporations and institutional real estate investors, reported a 15% revenue gain to $2.1 billion due to higher net interest income and loan growth. Net income rose 30% to $902 million.

The wealth management unit’s revenue climbed 9% to $3.2 billion, attributable to “higher spreads,” or the difference between interest income earned and interests paid out. Assets under management rose 11% to $1.9 trillion. The unit’s net income was $624 million, a 20% gain.

Dimon, whose often blunt political and economic assessment is closely listened to by Wall Street , told analysts on Friday’s earnings call that the U.S. economy is still resilient and growing.

But prompted by an analyst question, he unleashed a series of criticism about the gridlock and dysfunction in the political realm that he says is hurting the economy. “If we don’t get our act together, we can still grow,” he said. “But it’s hurting us. It’s hurting the body politic. It’s hurting average Americans.”

Using an expletive to describe U.S. politics and bureaucracy, he said it was “almost embarrassing,” when traveling abroad, to hear about the state of Washington, D.C. and its inability to achieve the changes he says the U.S. needs, such as tax reform and infrastructure improvement. 

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