"We think (the recession) could be deep; we don't know how deep," Dimon said. "We think the economy could be worse than the capital markets crisis."
He said the government's actions to pump cash into the financial system have been "powerful medicine" to help fix the dislocated financial markets. But even an eventual normalization in the markets "may not stop us from having a deep recession," Dimon said.
Many people still can't get financing, he said. And the troubles are so widespread that companies all over the world are stuck with bad investments on their hands and running for cover. Referring to billionaire investor Warren Buffett's adage about finding out who's been swimming naked when the tide goes out, Dimon said: "There are people swimming naked everywhere."
Financial institutions around the world have been slammed by both deteriorating consumer credit and turbulent financial markets.
JPMorgan Chase on Wednesday ratcheted up its expectations for losses from deteriorating home equity loans. The bank's home equity loan losses could rise as high as $850 million over the next several quarters, Dimon said. That was up from last month's forecast of losses of as much as $800 million in the coming quarters.