JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told Congres that the markets could punish the United States before the 2012 presidential election for failing to address its debt crisis.
"The one thing I'd keep in ming about the fiscal cliff is: It may not wait until December 31st; markets and businesses may start taking actions before [then] that create a slowdown in the economy," Dimon said during a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee while discussing the need to implement deficit reduction. "I personally wouldn't be of the mind that it's okay to wait until after the election."
That would make the second consecutive presidential election shaped by a financial crisis, after the bank bailouts and housing market crash of September and October 2008.
"We have to get our fiscal act in order," he added. "It's either going to be done to us or we're going do it ourselves."
Dimon lamented the failure to follow the proposals of the Simpson-Bowles Commission. "You would have shown a real fix of the long term fiscal problem," Dimon said. "When we missed an opportunity to do it, I do think it helped create a little downturn last year."
President Obama's 2012 budget avoided the proposals offered by his Simpson-Bowles Commission. "The president's 2012 budget dodges on almost all of that. Entitlements are left alone. So, broadly speaking, are tax deductions," The Washington Post's Ezra Klein wrote in February. "It's like the Fiscal Commission never happened."