JPMorgan throws down against more than just Apple

October 27, 2015

Its Chase Pay smartphone wallet is a clear challenge to the iPhone maker’s burgeoning rival. By lowering fees, absorbing fraud liabilities and allowing retailers to offer their own loyalty programs, however, JPMorgan is also putting banks and the likes of Amex on the back foot.

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.

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.

Old M&A dogs try old tricks with new activist fund

January 21, 2015

Former JPMorgan CFO Doug Braunstein and lawyer Jim Woolery have collected $250 mln and a CEO network to kick-start a fund to buy small stakes in companies and persuade them to do value-enhancing deals. The question is whether there’s room for permanently well-mannered activism.

JPMorgan soul-baring cuts room for error

December 24, 2014

Jamie Dimon’s bank has followed Goldman Sachs’ 2011 lead by publishing a report detailing how it has responded to crises. Amid the PR-speak are some worrying admissions and much-needed improvements. Future failures and shareholder concerns will be harder to explain away.

FX fines are wake-up call on self-policing

November 12, 2014

The $3.4 bln settlement for five banks works out on average at 20 pct higher than Libor – because the firms failed to mend their ways. Regulators are seeking yet tougher internal controls. Banks have a last chance to show they can treat clients fairly.

MetLife CEO should revel in his anonymity

July 29, 2014

That almost no one knows ol’ so-and-so is good for shareholders. How he handles the mega-insurer’s likely designation as a systemic threat could change that. A Jamie Dimon-style fight would be foolish. Better to speak softly and keep the name Steve Kandarian out of headlines.

BofA loss provides valuable mega-bank perspective

April 16, 2014

Some $6 bln of legal costs chewed up all the U.S. bank’s Q1 profit. It took half as much again to cause a quarterly loss at JPMorgan last year. BofA’s bad results, however, probably will leave Citi boss Mike Corbat wondering why his better-performing bank got stiffed by the Fed.

JPMorgan’s clean sheet already looks off-white

April 11, 2014

For the first time in years, the U.S. mega-bank’s results weren’t cluttered with special items like whale-trade losses or legal costs. JPMorgan’s $5.3 bln in Q1 earnings fell short of expectations anyway. Boss Jamie Dimon will be hoping to make more of the fresh start.

Jamie Dimon hits final stage of grief: acceptance

April 10, 2014

In coping with the tragedy of the financial crisis, the JPMorgan chief has passed through four of the five Kübler-Ross model phases: denial, anger, bargaining and depression. His latest annual letter to shareholders finally shows a desire to accept what’s happened and move on.