Antony's Feed
Feb 29, 2012
via Breakingviews

JPMorgan offers peek into trading magic circle

Photo

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Jes Staley is not going to be popular in Wall Street’s trading brotherhood. The head of JPMorgan’s investment bank has broken a code of silence by revealing how much the firm rakes in as a market-maker.

Feb 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

GM’s former finance arm better suited for IPO

Photo

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

GM’s ormer financing arm would be better off waiting for an opening to launch a much-delayed stock offering rather than selling itself. Sure, the business now known as Ally Financial would fit well with several banks – or even its previous owner. And the U.S. Treasury, which pumped $17 billion into Ally and owns about three-quarters of it, wants its money back. But the troubled mortgage division, ResCap, may give some pause. And Ally is too big to swallow easily.

Feb 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

Would President Romney sell Uncle Sam’s GM stake?

Photo

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Mitt Romney may be unsure which hat to wear when it comes to General Motors. In a Detroit News article this week, the Republican presidential candidate exhorted President Barack Obama’s administration to offload Uncle Sam’s holding in the automaker, which reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. That may be Political Romney’s take, but selling now would leave taxpayers with a hefty loss. That’s a hit Private Equity Romney would surely avoid.

Feb 2, 2012
via Breakingviews

Goldman shooting its messenger may bring good news

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Wall Street has lost one of its most entertaining characters. Goldman Sachs is dispensing with Lucas van Praag, its silver-tongued PR boss after 12 years. His colorful ripostes to the press often turned a tin ear to public sentiment. But they also reflected Goldman’s culture. Hiring a new mouthpiece could signal more changes are on the way.

Feb 2, 2012
via Breakingviews

Facebook IPO lays bare Wall Street’s laggards

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Morgan Stanley can now officially lord Facebook over its Wall Street rivals. The potentially $100 billion social network’s initial public offering prospectus confirms that arch-rival Goldman Sachs lost the top spot in one of the most widely anticipated stock offerings in a generation. That’s a comedown after it botched an investment round for Facebook, but Goldman still remains on the roster of underwriters, along with JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Allen & Co. The bigger embarrassment is for those who didn’t make the cut.

Feb 1, 2012
via Breakingviews

NYSE/DB execs deserve spanking for merger failure

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Duncan Niederauer and Reto Francioni deserve a bit of a spanking for their failure to mate. Sure, the chief executives of NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse, respectively, had a good financial case for putting the two exchanges together. They even had a credible argument for why the resulting 90 percent share of Europe’s exchange-traded derivatives market wouldn’t constitute a monopoly. But none of that matters now. They spent a year pursuing a transatlantic tie-up that European regulators never favored, and have now officially nixed.

Jan 23, 2012
via Breakingviews

Bank CEO pay suggests Wall Street may be waking up

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Wall Street may be starting to get it – “it” being the post-crisis contempt over excessive bonuses for chief executives. In 2010, some banks unduly increased compensation for their bosses. The Goldman Sachs board, for one, doubled Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein’s total pay even though the firm’s earnings, returns and stock price all fell. Based on the first few to release information about 2011, executive handouts are less out of whack.

Jan 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

Latest U.S. bank stock surge could prove fickle

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The latest bull run in U.S. bank stocks may prove fickle. The big six, including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have added $100 billion of market value since mid-December, a 23 percent jump, despite meager fourth-quarter earnings. Receding fears over Europe have helped better align bank valuations with balance sheet and income realities. But no further rally is warranted with more ugly surprises likely.

Jan 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Goldman bankers rank ahead of shareholders again

Photo

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bankers at Goldman Sachs rank ahead of its shareholders again. The firm is paying less in 2011 for compensation and benefits than it did the previous year. But the chop falls short of the decline in most other metrics investors use to judge investment banks. Deeper compensation cuts would show some respect for its public shareholders while keeping Goldman from wearing a dubious league-table crown.

Jan 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

JPMorgan deserves a little more investor love

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

JPMorgan deserves a little more love from its shareholders. Granted, its fourth-quarter earnings weren’t great. But overall, JPMorgan is in a solid position. And yet its stock languishes at around three-quarters of book value. It’s time for investors to overcome their fear.

    • About Antony

      "Antony Currie has more than a decade of experience as a financial journalist, having worked with Euromoney since 1996, most recently as a U.S. editor. He has worked on assignments in the major financial centers of Europe and the U.S. and written stories on capital markets, global economies and the investment banking industry. He holds a bachelor's degree in German language and literature and a master's degree in politics and international relations from the University of Bristol."
    • Follow Antony