JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Thursday weighed in on the debt ceiling, saying it’s not “something we should be playing around with.”
He said during a CNBC interview that people should not question the “creditworthiness” of the US government and described it as “sacrosanct”.
“Now, of course the Democrats are going to blame the Republicans, and the Republicans are going to blame the Democrats. I don’t care who blames who,” Dimon went on to say. “Doing the wrong thing is worth questioning.”
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“That’s just part of the financial structure of the world, and this is not something we should be playing games with at all,” he said of the debt ceiling.
The federal government hit its debt limit of about $31.4 trillion on Thursday. About $24.5 trillion of America’s total outstanding public debt is debt held by the public, and about $6.9 trillion is intergovernmental holdings, according to the latest data from the Treasury Department.
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On the same day, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified Congress in a letter of the “extraordinary measures” the department “began using today” to avoid default, asking lawmakers to “act promptly to restore faith and credit protect the whole of the United States.”
There have been 78 separate instances of Congress moving to “permanently raise, temporarily extend or revise the definition of the debt limit” over the past 63 years, according to the Treasury Department. The last time it was raised was in December 2021, when lawmakers voted to do so.
Dimon previously discussed the “potentially catastrophic results” of “the day America can’t pay its debt” last week during an interview with “Mornings with Maria” host Maria Bartiromo .
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“Once American debt goes into default, a lot of people can no longer own it, and American debt doesn’t default, but it’s cumulative,” he said. “The IS [Treasury bill] defaults, and next week T-bill defaults, next week T-bill defaults, selling pension plans.”
Kristen Altus and Megan Henney contributed to this report.