Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., gestures as he speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)  

Jamie Dimon Says Skipping Saudi Business Summit Accomplished ‘Nothing’

(Bloomberg) -- Jamie Dimon was among the first banking executives to drop out of this month’s investment conference in Saudi Arabia, but he doesn’t think it made a difference.

The moves from business leaders to shun the event accomplished "nothing" and were largely symbolic, Dimon, the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said Tuesday at an event hosted by Axios in Los Angeles.

"We couldn’t be seen to be in any way condoning that behavior," Dimon said. Still, business relationships with the nation will continue, he said.

Dimon said his bank, which has been in the country for more than 70 years, will follow the lead of the U.S. government when making decisions about how to interact with Saudi Arabia after the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent government critic.

While the U.S. has condemned Khashoggi’s killing -- Trump called it “one of the worst in the history of cover-ups” -- the president and his top aides have repeatedly signaled that the broader U.S.-Saudi relationship, including billions of dollars in military sales, shouldn’t be put at risk over the journalist’s death.

The bank CEO was among executives including Uber Technologies Inc.’s Dara Khosrowshahi, Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman and BlackRock’s Larry Fink who dropped out of the Future Investment Initiative in the wake of the mysterious disappearance.

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