Jamie Dimon spoke at a Chase Bank branch in Boston on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo by Lucy Kennedy Photography/JPMorgan Chase

The nation’s most influential banker, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, told investors Monday that he continues to expect the U.S. economy to be resilient and grow this year. But he worries geopolitical events including the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war, as well as U.S. political polarization, might be creating an environment that “may very well be creating risks that could eclipse anything since World War II.”

The comments came in an annual shareholder letter from Dimon, who often uses the letter to weigh in broad topics like politics, regulation and global events and what it might mean to JPMorgan Chase, as well as the broader economy.

“America’s global leadership role is being challenged outside by other nations and inside by our polarized electorate,” Dimon said. “We need to find ways to put aside our differences and work in partnership with other Western nations in the name of democracy. During this time of great crises, uniting to protect our essential freedoms, including free enterprise, is paramount.”

Dimon had particular concerns with continued large amounts of deficit spending by the U.S. government and other countries, as well as the need for countries such as the U.S. to remilitarize and continue to build out green infrastructure, all of which will likely keep inflation higher than investors expect.

Because of these issues, Dimon said he is less optimistic that the U.S. economy will achieve a “soft landing,” which he defined as modest growth along with declining inflation and interest rates, compared to the broader market. While he says the investors are pricing in a “70 percent to 80 percent” chance of a soft landing, Dimon thinks the chances of such an ideal outcome are “a lot less” than that.

Also, at a time when some investors and economists are questioning whether the Federal Reserve can make good on its projection for three interest rate cuts this year, Dimon warned of the possibility of rates rising to 8 percent or higher. The Fed’s benchmark rate is currently in a range of 5.25 percent to 5.50 percent.

“These significant and somewhat unprecedented forces cause us to remain cautious,” he said.

Like many other CEOs, Dimon said he sees promise in the use cases of artificial intelligence. The bank has found 400 use cases for AI so far, Dimon said, particularly in the bank’s marketing, fraud and risk departments. The bank also is exploring using AI in software development and general employee productivity plans.

“We are completely convinced the consequences [of AI] will be extraordinary and possibly as transformational as some of the major technological inventions of the past several hundred years: Think the printing press, the steam engine, electricity, computing and the Internet, among others.”