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Oct 19, 2011
via Breakingviews

Citi’s CDO payout is ripe for the Rakoff treatment

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

Citigroup’s $285 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission looks ripe for the Rakoff treatment. Judge Jed already has established a reputation for taking the regulator to task for sometimes being too soft. Two years ago, for example, he upbraided it for having too light a touch on Bank of America’s lax disclosures related to its takeover of Merrill Lynch. This Citi case warrants a similar hearing.

Oct 14, 2011
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Goldman Sachs’s exceptionalism takes another knock

By Antony Currie and Rob Cox
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The exceptionalism of Goldman Sachs took another knock this week. For a brief period on Wednesday, shares of the Wall Street firm traded at a bigger discount to book value — or assets minus liabilities — than those of megabank rival JPMorgan. This rarely happens and suggests that investors fear the bank’s franchise, both as a trader of securities and financial adviser to corporations and governments, is somehow damaged.

Oct 13, 2011
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Jamie Dimon puts brave face on tough quarter

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

JPMorgan started the banking sector’s third-quarter earnings season with a thud. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon was confronted by a triple whammy of falling revenue, lower releases from loan loss reserves and fallout from his own increasingly incendiary comments on regulation. But Dimon still managed to put on a brave face.

Oct 10, 2011
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Will Wells Fargo get hooked on Wall Street crack?

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

Will Wells Fargo get hooked on Wall Street crack? The California-based lender mostly has resisted lower Manhattan’s siren call. But Wells kept Wachovia’s fledgling investment bank when it bought its struggling rival three years ago. It’s still hiring. A couple of senior M&A bankers joined just last week. But getting much bigger would come at a price.

Oct 7, 2011
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Volcker Rule draft still leaves many gray areas

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

It was a tall order, but America’s banking regulators have taken a good stab at devising a framework for the Volcker Rule. A draft of the document, obtained by the American Banker, suggests the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve, FDIC and Treasury minimized the most worrying aspect of the rule — that a prop-trading ban could undermine client-focused market-making. But it still leaves gray areas.

Oct 3, 2011
via Breakingviews

New Morgan Stanley woe is a drama lacking a crisis

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

Morgan Stanley’s October woes feel like a drama lacking a crisis. The Wall Street firm, which three years ago suffered a bank run, was already facing skepticism about its turnaround before the third quarter turned crummy. But that’s not behind its latest misery. Morgan Stanley’s stock tanked more than 10 percent on Friday after the cost of insuring its debt against default rose as investors again got the jitters about the investment bank’s exposure to Europe. But substance to the worries looks thin.

Oct 3, 2011

Breakingviews-New Morgan Stanley woe is a drama lacking a crisis

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The Wall Street
firm was facing skepticism about its turnaround even before the
third quarter turned crummy. Its latest misery, though, is
driven not by substance but by numerical confusion. It should
pass –- unless the fear driving the herd mentality turns into
outright panic.

Full view will be published shortly.

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Sep 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

Morgan Stanley misses a trick on Mack succession

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

Morgan Stanley’s board must have a strong sense of irony. It chose the third anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers to reinstate one of Wall Street’s uglier traditions: combining the roles of chairman and chief executive. James Gorman will assume John Mack’s duties when he steps down as chairman at year’s end. That’s disappointing.

Sep 9, 2011
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Some fiscal honesty would honor 9/11 tragedy

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

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is rightly focused on the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives — and the impact on friends, loved ones and the broader population. But there’s yet another way the tragedy could be honored: with more honesty about the economic consequences of decisions taken following the event, and calling for some shared financial sacrifice.

Aug 30, 2011

CCB sale underlines BofA’s slow road to recovery

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan is taking another step towards shoring up the embattled bank. Offloading around half BofA’s 10-percent stake in China Construction Bank for $8.3 billion is a double boost to capital. Alongside Warren Buffett’s $5 billion stamp of approval last week and the bank’s potential for generating future profits, it should help put BofA back on track. But a quick fix it is not.

    • 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."
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