Lauren's Feed
Apr 25, 2014

Fed, OCC differ in enforcing leveraged lending guidelines

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) – Some major U.S. banks are
privately complaining that they are getting the short end of the
regulatory stick when it comes to the profitable business of
lending to heavily indebted companies.

Banking and regulatory sources with direct knowledge of the
situation said the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appear to be taking different
approaches to implementing a set of guidelines on leveraged
loans, even though they issued them jointly in March last year.

Apr 22, 2014

Goldman buys Westpeak in drive for ‘smart beta’ assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) asset-management business has agreed to buy Westpeak Global Advisors, a firm that aims to beat market indexes by using factors other than company size to pick stock investments.

The deal, disclosed on Tuesday, comes as Goldman is working to bulk up its asset management unit, partly by strengthening its quantitative product offerings. It is also part of a broader trend of money managers offering so-called “smart beta” strategies that deliver the high returns of some actively managed fund but with the lower cost of investing in an index fund or exchange-traded fund.

Apr 18, 2014

For Morgan Stanley, playing it safe pays off

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – A year ago, soon after Morgan Stanley posted disappointing quarterly earnings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman told board members the bank was on the right track and investors who sold shares had made a mistake.

On Thursday, Gorman proved himself right, by showing that his plan to lighten up trading risk and focus on wealth management is paying off. Morgan Stanley posted a 55 percent gain in first-quarter profit. The bank’s revenue from fixed-income trading rose 9 percent from the same quarter a year ago, even as it reduced risky assets by tens of billions of dollars. Morgan Stanley also showed steady progress in using deposits from the wealth business to lend more.

Apr 17, 2014

Amid frigid winter, Goldman, Morgan Stanley see commodity gains

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) both cited stronger commodities trading as a bright spot in the first quarter, aided in part by extraordinary volatility caused by the coldest U.S. winter in three decades.

The two longest-serving banks in the sector took on more risk in the quarter, and may be benefiting from rivals scaling back or quitting the raw materials trading business due to new capital and trading regulations and slimming profit margins, underscoring the benefits of sticking out a tough patch.

Apr 17, 2014

For Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, boring is beautiful

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Thursday, helped by gains in merger advisory and stock underwriting.

The results underscored how businesses viewed as stodgy before the financial crisis are becoming critical drivers of earnings growth for investment banks now. Goldman’s fixed-income trading revenue plunged during the first quarter, both for trades it did for customers and investments on its own account.

Apr 17, 2014

Morgan Stanley profit soars on wealth management, trading

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Anil D’Silva

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley reported a 55 percent jump in first-quarter earnings as higher revenue from its institutional securities business augmented another strong quarter from wealth management, sending shares in the Wall Street bank higher.

The sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets reported net income applicable to the company of $1.45 billion, or 74 cents per share, compared with $936 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

Apr 17, 2014

Goldman Sachs profit falls 11 pct but beats estimates

April 17 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc reported
an 11 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday as client
activity remained constrained and fixed-income revenue shrank.

The Wall Street bank said its net income fell to $1.95
billion, or $4.02 per share, in the first three months of the
year from $2.19 billion, or $4.29 per share, in the same period
of 2013.

Apr 14, 2014

Goldman dodges a shareholder battle that dogs rivals

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Goldman Sachs Group Inc filed its shareholder proxy earlier this month, it was free of a proposal that has become increasingly popular among corporate governance activists: a demand for more disclosure about lobbying.

Goldman’s big Wall Street rivals can’t say the same. JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley all face lobbying-disclosure proposals this year. Some activist shareholders want the banks to be more transparent about their lobbying objectives, disclose more about the trade groups they belong to and say how much money they spend to influence policy.

Apr 10, 2014

Fed’s hard line on funding to bring more pain to Wall Street

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve’s drive to wean Wall Street off risky funding sources is expected to bring more financial pain to the biggest U.S. banks in the coming months, analysts warned on Wednesday.

They said bank regulators’ release this week of tough new limits on debt funding is just a preview of other rules that may have even more bite.

Apr 9, 2014

Non-banks notch a win in long-running derivatives battle

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A group of small brokerages and large commodities companies convinced lawmakers to tweak a rule that they say would have made derivatives trading more expensive for them and sent more business to Wall Street banks that already dominate the market.

Companies including INTL FCStone Inc, Nomura Holdings Inc, Cargill Inc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc lobbied a congressional committee to change a rule proposed by the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission on how much capital they must hold against derivatives trades as dealers. Cargill and Shell have derivatives trading arms.