Breakingviews

Goldman for once may miss mega-bank sprawl

July 16, 2015

Legal costs whacked the Wall Street firm’s Q2 earnings. More worrying was the far worse showing than rivals in fixed-income trading. Broader institutions such as Citi, BofA and JPMorgan gain a cushion from areas like treasury services. Goldman’s focus isn’t always an advantage.

Wall Street lead over EU banks looks set in stone

June 17, 2015

European trading and advisory revenue is down 30 pct since 2010 while U.S. investment banking has grown. Now Deutsche Bank and HSBC are cutting further, even more ground will be ceded. The region’s tentative recovery and capital markets project offer only slim hope of a reversal.

Goldman may lose its way on Main Street

June 16, 2015

The Wall Street denizen plans to lend to regular Joes and Joannes online. Healthy returns probably await. CEO Lloyd Blankfein may also hope a broader set of customers comes in handy in the next crisis. It’s a big strategic change, however, fraught with distractions and risks.

Review: Hank Paulson’s kiss-and-don’t-tell China guide

May 1, 2015

The former U.S. Treasury secretary paints a world where noble Chinese officials beg straight-talking American bankers to help get their finances in order. Some things have changed. What hasn’t is that contacts are everything, and that killer details are always left unspoken.

Rob Cox: Bitcoin enters age of Goldman and lawyers

April 30, 2015

For libertarian early adopters, the discovery of the cryptocurrency by Wall Street’s top firm and a bevy of legal eagles is a pivotal moment. Diehards will mourn the lost privacy and edginess of bitcoin. The flipside is the prospect of mainstream financial industry acceptance.

Morgan Stanley Q1 rivals Goldman by different path

April 20, 2015

James Gorman’s firm had its best quarter in years. Its Wall Street competitor still has the edge with returns and book value growth. By one key metric, though, investors value Morgan Stanley more highly. Gorman’s strategy, which downplays volatile trading, is starting to pay off.

Goldman’s improved returns come at higher risk

April 16, 2015

The bank left behind years of ho-hum profit with an estimate-beating $2.75 bln in the first quarter. The firm kept costs down, but trading accounted for much of the boost. That raises the issue of whether such earnings are sustainable – and how shareholders should value them.

Winner of “Survivor: Mega-Banks” may be loser

March 11, 2015

Brady Dougan’s departure from Credit Suisse leaves JPMorgan, Goldman and Wells with the last pre-2008 bosses. Dimon, Blankfein and Stumpf have overcome challenges but also are approaching a decade at the helm. One lesson from the crisis was the danger of sticking around too long.

Today’s Wall Street can’t produce a John Whitehead

February 9, 2015

The ex-Goldman Sachs boss, who died at 92, was instrumental in creating the global investment bank that exists today. He also took on prominent public service roles after leaving. Actions by both Wall Street and Washington have closed that path to high finance’s current leaders.

More Wall Street CEO cash is hint for shareholders

January 23, 2015

JPMorgan is paying a portion of Jamie Dimon’s bonus in hard money for the first time since 2011. Goldman is boosting Lloyd Blankfein’s cash. Meanwhile, stock gains are slowing. Bank bosses still get most of their comp in shares. But the switch may suggest equity has less to offer.