Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez hit back at JPMorgan CEO over comments on socialism: 'That's funny'

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Sanders's inauguration look promptly gets a bobblehead Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration MORE (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation Facebook has no current plan to end the Trump suspension MORE (D-N.Y.) each took shots at Jamie Dimon this week after the JPMorgan Chase CEO derided socialism as something that leads to “eroding society.”

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, two self-described Democratic socialists, pointed to the $700 billion Wall Street bank bailout lawmakers passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis to argue that Dimon’s stance was hypocritical.

“That's funny. Jamie Dimon seemed fine with corporate socialism when his bank got a $416 billion bailout from American taxpayers,” Sanders tweeted on Wednesday, echoing criticism he’s made before.


Ocasio-Cortez added on Thursday that she was going to save Dimon’s comments for “the next time Wall Street asks for a $700 billion bailout from the federal government.”

Congress passed a bailout bill in 2008 as part of an effort to stabilize the U.S. financial industry and avoid a potential crisis for the broader economy. Sanders emerged as one of the most outspoken and critical voices of the legislation, and his 2020 presidential campaign has been predicated around issues such as breaking up large banks and combating income inequality. 

"I didn't hear Jamie Dimon criticizing socialism when Wall Street begged for the largest federal bailout in American history," Sanders tweeted last July.

On the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dimon was asked on CNBC whether the policies put forth by Sanders and progressive Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Top Senate Democrat backs waiver for Biden Pentagon nominee Consumer bureau director resigns after Biden's inauguration MORE (D-Mass.), another presidential candidate, were socialist. 


"I don't want to talk about any particular people, but if you're talking about governments controlling corporations, that's socialism," he said, adding that it would eventually lead to an "eroding society."

Dimon acknowledged that capitalism wasn't "perfect," but argued that “most state-owned enterprises don’t do a particularly good job."

“You look around the world and they become corrupt over time," he said. 

Asked about younger generations expressing more negative feelings about capitalism, Dimon responded: “I honestly don’t think they understand what socialism is.”

Dimon has repeatedly attacked socialist ideas and progressive policies amid the 2020 campaign. Last November, he said that Warren "vilifies successful people" while arguing that "a lot of government programs have been abysmal failures."

Warren quickly fired back at the critique in a series of tweets, stating that Dimon and other billionaires were successful because "of the opportunities, workforce, and public services that we all paid for."

Ocasio-Cortez, who has endorsed Sanders's campaign, added that Dimon's comments amounted to him requesting a "safe space."

JPMorgan reportedly took $25 billion in bailout money in wake of the government's Wall Street bailout bill. The government made the bailout money mandatory in an attempt to avoid singling out worse off banks, CNN noted, adding that JPMorgan had less exposure to toxic assets than other companies like Bank of America. JP Morgan repaid the $25 billion it received once it got permission from regulators to do so.