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Bank CEOs give testimonies in front of Congress

Yahoo Finance reporter Alexandra Semenova details how CEOs of some of the biggest banks are testifying before Congress on Wednesday to discuss the state of the U.S. economy.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, major bank CEOs testifying on Capitol Hill today. Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Semenova is here with the latest on what seemed to be a rather contentious day, as we usually expect with the bank CEOs on Capitol Hill.

ALEXANDRA SEMENOVA: Yeah, absolutely, Dave. Well, these testimonies got lost in the chaos of today's Fed decision and Putin's warning, of course. But there were some incredibly interesting exchanges between congressional leaders and these CEOs. The questioning was on a wide range of topics, including cybersecurity, racial inequities, particularly in their lending practices, overdraft fees, and many other items.

And while these hearings hardly ever result in any kind of legislative action, it is incredibly consequential for these CEOs to be put on the spot and grilled by congressional members. Some of the takeaways were remarks from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Again, he was talking about the Federal Reserve possibly still achieving a soft landing, but warning lawmakers that they should be prepared for the worst. Somewhat of a similar warning from Citibank's Jane Fraser. She said that we're going to be in for tough times ahead.

And notable also was a very heated exchange between California Congressman Brad Sherman and Jamie Dimon. And Sherman questioned Dimon and Fraser about whether they still have any stakes in Russian oil companies, to which they appeared to respond with some hesitation. And things didn't go well for Dimon when he tried to add on to the conversation. Let's take a listen.

- Let me go on to Citigroup. Have you cut your ties with Lukoil and Vitol?

JAMIE DIMON: He said one other thing. I don't think--

- Not on my time, you can.

JAMIE DIMON: No one is doing--

- Reclaiming my time, Mr. Dimon.

- The time belongs to the gentleman from California.

- You can do a press conference afterwards and comment as you like, not on my time.

ALEXANDRA SEMENOVA: Quite contentious there. There was also a lot of discussion on the geopolitical front. Jamie Dimon said that the biggest threat to US financial stability are China and Ukraine, speaking in terms of the escalating economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, but also talking about the possibility of China taking military action against Taiwan. The bank execs were asked if they would pull investments in China if that happened, and they said that they would follow government guidelines on that.

And also separately, there were discussions about competing with Chinese banks. And Jamie Dimon said that it's very important that America maintains financial supremacy. And again, these discussions are still underway. We have a second day of hearings tomorrow with a lot to be addressed.

DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, and it was an interesting dichotomy. It's more evidence that it used to be along party lines. Democrats would hammer away at the bank CEOs, and Republicans were largely supportive. That was not the case today. We've seen that pivot, and in particular, with ENG and things-- ESG, excuse me. That narrative is definitely changing with the GOP. Alexandra Semenova, great stuff. I can't believe somebody talked to Jamie Dimon that way, but it is entertaining. Rachelle.