I know a lot of people are talking about Joe Biden's ultra-brief interview yesterday with questions on recession, inflation, his son Hunter, Armageddon, Saudi Arabia, OPEC and other matters that he refused to answer. He just can't do those things in 15 minutes, but of course, President Biden doesn't want to do them in the first place.
But there was another interview on Monday that was much more revealing and important in my view and that was JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in London on the Biden Administration's huge mistakes and their failure to produce more oil and gas.
Mr. Dimon basically blasted Biden on energy and I quote: "America should have been pumping more oil and gas. We should've gotten that right starting in March at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine."
Dimon said the Biden Administration dropped the ball by not significantly boosting output. He said: "Obviously, America needs to play a real leadership role — America is the swing producer, not Saudi Arabia," and then he capped his Biden blast with this, quote: "I would put it in the critical category. This should be treated almost as a matter of war at this point, nothing short of that."
He compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, quote: "It's Pearl Harbor, it's Czechoslovakia, and it's really an attack on the Western world."
If you've already read these clips from Mr. Dimon's interview, good for you, but I think it's worth repeating. He is America's leading banker. He's one of the most famous businessmen in the entire world. The bank he runs is a superb enterprise, one that you may recall refused bailout money way back in the financial meltdown of 2008.
I have known Jamie for many years and have always respected his views. I'm not talking politics here. I'm just talking about the sage advice offered by our leading banker. In this period of corporate wokemanship, it's very refreshing to hear some plainspoken common sense.
I'm going to say that outside of the radical extremist global warming crowd, the vast majority of men and women who go to work every day in this country would agree with Jamie Dimon. That doesn't mean that the vast majority or Mr. Dimon himself is opposed to renewable fuels or denies that there are long-run climate issues that need to be tackled, for example, by technology and innovation.
But to sit there and watch Vladimir Putin use the oil weapon in his megalomaniacal, ahistorical invasion of Ukraine, or watch the Saudis hold us over a barrel because Biden is turning off the fossil spigots here and allowing them to again become the world's swing producers, is something that angers sensible Americans.
It's not about Republicans or Democrats, it's about common sense, which is what businessman banker Dimon is getting at and that's why I think what he said is so important. We know that Biden’s energy policy has bungled from the very beginning whether it's cancelling the Keystone Pipeline, ending permits, leases and pipelining in general, LNG terminals, gasoline refiners, etc. — literally turning off the spigots, by probably 3 million barrels a day — has not simply jacked up inflationary prices, but has damaged our economic and national security.
Further, for election vote-buying reasons, Biden has depleted our Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 50%, which was, you may recall, instituted 50 years ago to protect against another Arab oil embargo that could jeopardize America's security.
Biden's political price-fixing to bring gasoline down by a buck or so is so transparently corrupt, with not a care in the world about our defense.
Yes, of course, Jamie Dimon was right that at the very beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden should've changed policies and started producing oil and gas output. Of course, I would say, Biden should've never closed down the spigots.
Former President Trump left him with a strong America First dominant position, which Biden threw away because of his obsessions with the Green New Deal. As far as Jamie Dimon's war footing, I don't think anybody should argue against that metaphor. He may be too humble to say it, but I'm going to call him an American Patriot.
The Biden crowd doesn't like businesspeople, and they don't like bankers. They do like central planning and price controls. So, I would say, we are not only on a war footing regarding global energy security, we are on a war footing domestically to stop the drift toward socialism.
Which brings me to Jamie Dimon's last quote in his interview, quote: "This is the chance to get our act together and to solidify the Western, free, democratic, capitalist, free people, free movements, freedom of speech, free religion for the next century." Wow.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the October 12, 2022, edition of "Kudlow