A potential default by Greece would not constitute a "disaster" and Europe still is likely to "muddle through" a very complex set of issues to resolve its financial crisis, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said Thursday.
Most now anticipate Greece defaulting, Dimon said in an interview with CNBC from Davos, Switzerland, and so "that's not a surprise nor is it going to take down the Western world." The impact on U.S. banks should that happen, he said, would be "almost zero." Asked what impact would be felt if credit default swaps don't get paid out, Dimon said, "they're very small in Greece and I don't think it'll be that big a deal."
Regulators and governments in Europe, he said, continue to work at cross purposes. "It's quite clear the (European Central Bank) and the politicians want banks to take more exposure to lend more money to buy sovereigns ... but that the banks there feel that they have to reduce the balance sheet.
"Their boards are saying take less risk, not more, because we can't afford it and the regulators want more capital.
"I wish that everyone works together because we all want a global recovery."
Spain and Italy pose the real issue for Europe, he added. Greece, Portugal and Ireland "are very small relative to Spain and Italy. The real issue is Spain and Italy."
In a wide-ranging interview, Dimon lauded Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as an "outstanding Fed chief," and said the U.S. may be seeing the beginning of a self-sustaining recovery.