Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co speaks on September 25, 2019 in New York, US.
Misha Friedman | News Getty Images | Getty Images
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is regularly asked where he sees the biggest threats to the global economy — and to humanity at large. Speaking at a panel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the veteran financier emphasized the seriousness of nuclear proliferation, which he put ahead of climate change and other widely cited threats.
“I hear people talk about ESG all the time,” Dimon said Tuesday, referring to environmental, social and governance concerns and mandates for governments and companies.
“I would just put on your table the most serious thing facing humanity is the proliferation of nuclear weapons. If we’re not sitting here 100 years from now, it will be nuclear proliferation. It’s not our climate.”
International actors and proliferation experts warn that the risk of nuclear weapons being used is higher than it has been in decades, amid wars involving nuclear powers such as Russia and weakening adherence to international nuclear treaties.
“The risk of a nuclear weapon being used is currently higher than at any time since the depths of the Cold War,” The United Nations wrote in a statement in March 2023.
He said the Russia-Ukraine war represents “the most acute example of this danger” and that “the absence of dialogue and the erosion of the architecture of disarmament and arms control, combined with dangerous rhetoric and veiled threats, are key drivers of this. potentially existential risk’.
Meanwhile, Russia is withdrawing its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which Carnegie for International Peace calls “one of the most important international agreements for global security.”
The CTBT, which opened for signature in 1996, prohibits “any nuclear weapons test explosion or any other nuclear explosion” anywhere in the world. It was signed by 187 states and ratified by 178, but cannot officially enter into force until 44 specific countries, including China, the United States, North Korea, India, Israel and Iran, ratify it. However, no country has conducted a nuclear test since the CTBT opened for signature, except for North Korea.
Meanwhile, Iran has in recent years increased its uranium enrichment to what the International Atomic Energy Agency says is “alarming” and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pledged to develop nuclear weapons for his country if it Iran does. , sparking fears of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Earlier in October, Dimon said in a statement accompanying JPMorgan’s earnings announcement that “this may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades.”
Apart from the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, Dimon cited—as he did again in Riyadh—the rising national debt and “the largest budget deficits in peacetime.”
“I’ve been generally optimistic,” Dimon told the panel, but added, “I think you’d be foolish not to look at some of these things that are happening today in the Ukraine, the Middle East — obviously my heart goes out. for Ukraine, but it also affects oil, food, food prices, gas prices, migration, possible famine – it’s probably the most serious thing we’ve faced.”
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