For employees at the biggest Wall Street banks, 2012 brought a humbling post-crisis reality of job cuts, lower pay and tarnished reputations. For investors, it was a happier story.
The 81-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financial Index is up 27% this year, its largest annual increase since 2003, led by a 104% gain in Bank of America Corp. The index beat the broader S&P 500 Index for the first time since 2006.
There is a level of angst this year that is just unprecedented. It’s just a profound sadness and dissatisfaction
By Simon Johnson
Experienced Wall Street executives and traders concede, in private, that Bank of America is not well run and that Citigroup has long been a recipe for disaster. But they always insist that attempts to re-regulate Wall Street are misguided because risk-management has become more sophisticated – everyone, in this view, has become more like Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase, with his legendary attention to detail and concern about quantifying the downside.
Germany recently made big news by announcing its plan to bring home part of its massive gold reserves. By retrieving 300 tons from New York and all 374 tons from Paris, 19% of its holdings – $36 billion worth – will be repatriated. By 2020, Deutsche Bundesbank expects to have 50% of its gold reserves stored in its Frankfurt vaults.
1. Long-term interest rates may have bottomed several months ago, but rate will remain low for several more months. It is becoming clearer to many that the Federal Reserve is most likely not going to reduce the $85 bln of long-term securities it is purchasing every month. The BOJ remains committed to buying the equivalent of $75 bln of assets a month. The ECB continues to provide full allotment at its fixed rate repo operations, even if strong banks have repaid their long-term repo borrowings.
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,688.00, EUR 1,269.08, and GBP 1063.58 per ounce.Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,690.00, EUR 1,265.82and GBP 1,060.49 per ounce. Gold was up 1.26% for the week and silver was up 4.60%. Gold fell $2.80 or 0.17% in New York on Friday and closed at $1,684.10/oz. Silver surged to a high of $32.11 before it also edged off, but it still finished with a gain of 0.47%.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co. has expanded into the physical commodity markets aggressively over the past five years, first with the purchase of Bear Stearns in 2008 and most significantly with a $1.7 billion deal to buy RBS Sempra's global oil and metals business in 2010.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's most powerful banks have accelerated efforts to transform the structure and focus of their commodity trading desks to preserve their multibillion-dollar empires from tightening regulation.