Wednesday 31, October 2018 by Bloomberg

Skipping Saudi business summit accomplished ‘nothing’, JPMorgan


Jamie Dimon was among the first banking executives to drop out of this month’s investment conference in Saudi Arabia, but he doesn’t think it made a difference.

The moves from business leaders to shun the event accomplished "nothing" and were largely symbolic, Dimon, the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said Tuesday at an event hosted by Axios in Los Angeles.

"We couldn’t be seen to be in any way condoning that behaviour," Dimon said. Still, business relationships with the nation will continue, he said.

Dimon said his bank, which has been in the country for more than 70 years, will follow the lead of the US Government when making decisions about how to interact with Saudi Arabia after the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent government critic.

While the U.S. has condemned Khashoggi’s killing—Trump called it “one of the worst in the history of cover-ups”—the president and his top aides have repeatedly signalled that the broader US-Saudi relationship, including billions of dollars in military sales, shouldn’t be put at risk over the journalist’s death.

The bank CEO was among executives including Uber Technologies Inc.’s Dara Khosrowshahi, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman and BlackRock’s Larry Fink who dropped out of the Future Investment Initiative in the wake of the mysterious disappearance.

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