The popular image of Wall Street institutions involve swagger: the ability to absorb the competition’s blows, taking no prisoners, raking in the money… until it seems like the government could force them to rein in their excesses. It’s at that point that Wall Street’s tough guys suddenly sound wounded.
It seemed only a bit odd that media star Arianna Huffington was the guest host on CNBC the day the all-important stress test results were due. Not to play down her credentials in media or commentary circles, but where were the celebrated bank analysts, the corporate chieftains and the investment gurus who so routinely enjoy a dose of the limelight on America's Business Channel?
The U.S. Treasury’s unveiling of its toxic asset plan sent stocks soaring on Monday, and none more so than in the banking sector. The KBW Bank index rose 18.6 percent, its best one day gain since at least 1993, driven by a 26 percent gain in Bank of America, a 25 percent advance in JPMorgan Chase and a 20 percent gain in Citigroup.
Bank of America’s planned $44.3 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch is the seventh largest bank acquisition ever announced, according to Thomson Reuters Deals Intelligence. Bank of America is the fourth largest bank globally and the top US bank with a market value of US$153.9 billion.