John Foley is Reuters Breakingviews' U.S. editor. He has previously written and edited from London, Beijing and Hong Kong, and established Breakingviews’ first Asian bureau in 2009, subsequently running the European team from 2015 to 2017. Before joining Breakingviews in 2004, John worked as a copywriter for a London-based advertising agency. He read English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford.
A $911 mln loss on the collapse of family office Archegos barely registered as it landed amid a record quarter for Wall Street equities trading. CEO James Gorman can thank luck and skill. Still, the slip-up validates his strategy of chasing more stable ways of making money.
Surging markets and an improving credit outlook handed Brian Moynihan his best return on equity to date. Yet it’s still half what Jamie Dimon’s bank managed, and their valuations are far apart. Given Bank of America’s conservativism, an economic growth spurt may widen that gap.
The Wall Street bank’s 31% return on equity for the first quarter, a number it hasn’t seen in over a decade, reflects the boom in markets that buoyed JPMorgan too. Banks are far safer than when Goldman last made such jumbo returns. Subdued valuations suggest they won’t last.