At first, Sleepy Joe’s sleepwalking routine was met with some eye rolling by top business leaders; old Joe may have lost a step, two or three, but at least he wasn’t tweeting nasty stuff like the last guy.
He also saved Corporate America from a socialist revolution in the name of President Bernie Sanders, didn’t he?
Now, as our economy enters a critical stage of high inflation and a recession, panic in the C-suite is palpable.
Biden is obviously dimwitted on economic matters and, maybe worse, he’s appointed a slew of people to key posts who are proven to be chronically and dangerously unprepared. The administration cannot handle the tsunami they created with reckless spending, chilling regulations and an ongoing war against oil producers in the middle of an inflationary spiral.
So abysmal is Biden and his administration’s economic acumen, business leaders who supported him are stepping up their attacks on his public-policy stupidity.
And the criticism is growing beyond the unusual suspects like Elon Musk, the norm-defying CEO of Telsa who called the Dems the “party of division and hate” while ridiculing the Biden administration’s energy policy.
Now the reliably liberal Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is chiming in. Keep in mind, this is the same Jeff Bezos who also owns The Washington Post, not exactly a bastion of right-wing groupthink.
What caught his attention was Biden’s brainless class-warfare deceit that greedy oil refiners are gouging consumers and must “bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product.”
Biden’s weird logic went something like this: Refiners own most of the nation’s gas stations. They’re screwing people because they’re overcharging at the pump even as the cost of oil has begun to decline.
But Sleepy Joe missed the memo that Big Oil owns just a fraction of the nation’s gas stations; most are mom-and-pop small businesses. They operate on thin margins and are being whipsawed by the vicissitudes of the oil market, so they can’t lower prices we pay at the pump on a moment’s notice.
That’s why Bezos wisely noted in a tweet that Biden’s insult was “either straight-ahead misdirection” or it reflects a “deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.” As Bezos himself put it: “Ouch.”
Jamie Dimon, CEO of the nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan, is certainly no MAGA-hat-wearing Trumper. He runs a bank that is heavily regulated by the Biden administration, so there’s a lot of potential downside in criticizing the president and his economic remedies.
Unless, of course, Dimon thinks those remedies are economically poisonous. In his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon first took direct aim at Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending splurge in the middle of a rapidly improving post-COVID economy.
More recently, Dimon said these policies, along with record-low interest rates — that Biden and his people long supported from the Fed — set the stage for inflation, a pernicious tax on the middle class.
Now, once the Fed finishes raising interest rates, inflation might decline but there will likely be a recession, something he described as a “hurricane . . . right out there down the road and coming our way.
“We don’t know if it’s a minor one or Superstorm Sandy. You better brace yourself,” Dimon added.
For my money, the biggest tell of Corporate America’s angst over Joe Biden’s economic chops comes from BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager. Normally a staunch ally, former BlackRock executives can be found just about everywhere in the Biden administration.
But when Biden’s chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, announced he now wants to force all companies to disclose all aspects of their carbon footprint as a way to immediately reduce emissions, even BlackRock thought the administration was playing with fire.
Higher inflation and social unrest will result from an immediate transformation of the country to a zero-carbon footprint that the zealots in the administration are aiming for. The edicts could squeeze the economy because “the impact of onerous disclosure requirements . . . on US public issuers could disincentivize initial public offerings by private companies or US listing by non-US companies,” BlackRock said in a letter to the SEC.
My bet, as the train wreck continues, is you will see more and more CEOs of big banks and other companies calling out President Biden and his absurd handling of the economy. Yes, they supported him, but that was when they thought they were getting someone with half a clue as opposed to no clue.
And if there’s one thing I know about these guys after covering them for 30 years, it’s that they hate being associated with a loser, which is what we have sleepwalking in the White House.