Wall Street has its 2016 White House empty vessel

November 2, 2015

U.S. presidential hopeful Marco Rubio’s tax-cut ideas have broad appeal, but his math is off. Hedgie and Republican Party donor Paul Singer, though, has just offered his support. That means he and other finance-industry backers may soon fill in Rubio’s hollow economic policies.

Banks need more than Fed’s help to boost earnings

October 19, 2015

Execs and shareholders alike place a lot of faith in rate hikes improving the bottom line. Lenders’ stated benefits of an upward move, though, aren’t just unrealistic - they also won’t do much for returns. Higher borrowing costs also tend to hit banks with unforeseen problems.

Morgan Stanley Q3 casts doubt on low-risk strategy

October 19, 2015

The bank’s $740 mln profit equates to a 3.9 pct ROE, the worst of any big bank. Adding back one-offs takes that only to the 7 pct Goldman managed. CEO James Gorman promised a safer and more solid enterprise than its rival. On this showing, it’s more boring without the benefits.

M&A running out of road on Easy Street

September 30, 2015

Since July, only four out of 10 U.S. buyers’ stocks have risen after a deal announcement. That’s a big drop from 80 pct in early 2014. Blaming volatility misses the point. Investors just aren’t convinced by increasingly bold and messy deals. The end of a merger boom may be nigh.

Jefferies may be canary in shuttered Wall St mine

September 9, 2015

Unlike the rest of the U.S. securities industry, the firm controlled by $7.7 bln Leucadia isn’t barred from proprietary trading. So its quarterly results could offer some insight into just how much the Volcker Rule helps or hinders the likes of Goldman Sachs in volatile markets.

Rob Cox: Wall Street’s rave party feels the drop

September 3, 2015

Robert Sillerman’s attempt to roll up the electronic dance music business is collapsing not long after UBS, Barclays and Jefferies helped his SFX Entertainment go public. Live Nation may once again turn out to be the buyer of a Sillerman creation, but this time will be different.

Goldman’s bank deal swaps one risk for another

August 14, 2015

Snapping up $16 bln of deposits from GE Capital helps cut the firm’s costs and reliance on bond market financing. Regulators may be happy, but the more deposits it has, the more Goldman, like Morgan Stanley, can use them to fund some trading. That poses systemic issues, too.

Humpty Dumpty M&A sings song of excess

August 6, 2015

Bill Ackman has taken a stake in the $75 bln Mondelez, seemingly predicated on the possibility of putting it back together again with Kraft. Meantime there’s talk of successful tech spinoff VMware absorbing its parent EMC. It’s fantasy season for all the Street’s men.

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.

Rob Cox: The (bank) resolution will be televised

July 9, 2015

Global regulators have made great progress preparing for the technical aspects of a collapse, and resurrection, of a major financial institution. What they need to spend more time on is ensuring they can effectively communicate the process to a world consumed by financial panic.