Breakingviews

Cox: Bloomberg’s White House hurdle is Wall Street

February 4, 2016

The media mogul mayor may yet try to be U.S. president. Hands down he’d be the richest contender ever. It would take extreme candidates Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz as nominees for Michael Bloomberg to run. The bigger issue is that he’d have his deep ties to finance to explain.

Deutsche Bank risks its own “keep dancing” moment

January 28, 2016

Despite a rotten quarter in investment banking, Germany’s biggest lender will keep adding risk and rainmakers. CEO John Cryan is entitled to see fixed-income issues as cyclical. But in time his stance may echo ex-Citi boss Chuck Prince’s 2007 pledge to stay at the subprime ball.

Goldman and rivals’ pay cut may have bright side

January 20, 2016

Staff compensation at the Wall Street firm is 8 pct less on average than in 2014 and down almost 11 pct at Morgan Stanley. JPMorgan workers fared better but still took a hit. With share values way down, though, those paid in stock may get a great deal – barring another crash.

Too-big-to-fail cabal nursing $130 bln in damages

January 15, 2016

That’s the amount of market value swiped from the top six U.S. banks in the past two weeks. All but Wells Fargo now trade below book value. It’s not a reaction to lackluster fourth-quarter results, but a sign investors expect a year of pain. Whether they’re right is a toss-up.

Review: “Billions” delivers modest TV-time return

January 15, 2016

Wall Street finally gets a series for itself with an over-the-top clash between a hedge-fund boss and a federal prosecutor. Hard-to-depict high finance isn’t helped by hammy dialogue and storylines. It’s just enough fun, though, for a bros’ “Dynasty” meets “Desperate Housewives.”

Morgan Stanley revamp puts a CEO on the market

January 7, 2016

The Wall Street bank’s boss James Gorman has chosen Colm Kelleher as heir apparent, leaving wealth management chief Greg Fleming up for grabs. Kelleher may be the ultimate survivor, but Fleming’s skills may be of use to firms from BlackRock to Amex to U.S regional banks.

Wall Street’s pay reveal has germ of a good idea

January 6, 2016

U.S. banks now say how many of their staff in Europe earned 1 mln euros or more in 2014. Knowing that 1,107 bankers from the top five did so is no great surprise. But JPMorgan’s policy of cancelling bonuses if long-term return targets aren’t met could make pay more defensible.

The Fed may be cutting rates again within a year

December 17, 2015

With official U.S. money finally costing something, there’s a risk that market overreaction saps funding in emerging markets and hurts exports as global demand softens. While a swift retreat might be insignificant on paper, it would harm the central bank’s credibility.

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.