Breakingviews

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.

Rob Cox: Uber gets a pass on its Wall Street habit

June 30, 2015

Big banks break rules and pay fines. Traditionally it’s just a cost of doing business. Uber, meanwhile, pays fines when drivers violate regulations that stand in the way of its business model. Nowadays banks attract outrage, but Uber is often forgiven in the name of disruption.

Brazil needs Dilma 2.0 to shine on U.S. visit

June 29, 2015

President Rousseff’s statist policies helped put Brazil’s economy in the tank. Her task now is to convince U.S. investors the more market-friendly persona she has adopted since re-election is real and resilient. Robust backing for her finance minister would reassure Wall Street.

Supreme Court slices Wall Street some wedding cake

June 26, 2015

The landmark ruling approving gay marriage gives even banks reason to celebrate. Benefits for same-sex spouses will be far cheaper and easier to grant, enabling stronger competition with more progressive Silicon Valley for workers. It’s a joyous union of equality and utility.

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: What the Great Depression taught the Fed

By Guest Contributor
January 30, 2015

Ben Bernanke is an expert on the famous crash. But Barry Eichengreen argues in his new book that the Fed boss during the 2008 crunch hadn't learnt the lessons of the boom preceding the bust. Bernanke's knowledge helped with crisis management, but it is too early to say how much.