Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bank's Internal Think Tank Starts Lobbying for First Time Ever

While think tanks often quietly lobby the US executive and legislative branches of government, or do so more overtly via sister lobbying arms, it has been quite rare for corporate think tanks to do so, until now.  Here is more from Axios:

The JPMorgan Chase Institute — the bank's internal think tank of sorts — and its new policy arm are pushing for policy changes for the first time, the company shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: The institute is sending its recommendations to Washington, as Congress hashes out a pandemic stimulus package.

What they're saying: "Even after you account for stimulus payments, unemployment insurance, renters experienced a greater than 10% drop in income, suggesting that they are really struggling," Heather Higginbottom, president of JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter.

  • "We're trying to use our data and analysis to inform some of those conversations," Higginbottom added.

What they're proposing:

  • Raising the federal minimum wage, though they don't say by how much.
  • Adding wage benefits for working parents — particularly women of color disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • Switching off expanded unemployment benefits only when certain economic conditions improve and state unemployment rates fall to a certain level.


The  JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) Institute, launched in 2015, describes itself a "global think tank releasing groundbreaking work using proprietary data, expertise, and market access."  Co-presidents of JPMC Institute are Chris Wheat and Fiona GriegHere is a previous Think Tank Watch post about the think tank.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post about the JPMorgan Chase Policy Center which launched in 2019 and is run by Heather Higginbottom, a former Obama Administration official.