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  • Thu, Jun. 9, 2:48 PM
    • The Dodd Frank stress test (DFAST) results are due on June 23 and the Comprehensive Capital Analysis (CCAR) on June 29.
    • Noting a severely adverse scenario even more rigorous than in the past, Morningstar's Dan Werner says it will be hard to read anything negative into a bank's passing the test.
    • Barclay's Jason Goldberg points out Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) as two poised to thrive if the government were to allow them to draw down capital, but "when" is the big question as next year's tests are expected to be even harder. The two are trading at about 1x book and sport ROEs of roughly 10% - both gauges were about twice those amounts prior to the financial crisis.
    • JPMorgan's Kian Abouhossein expects Citizens Financial (NYSE:CFG), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and SunTrust (NYSE:STI) to have outsized increases in capital return this year, driven mostly by buybacks.
    • One wild card: This year's tests requires banks to model for negative interest rates.
    | Thu, Jun. 9, 2:48 PM | 32 Comments
  • Thu, Jun. 9, 3:37 AM
    • Ding-dong! The IPO market isn't dead, as Dong Energy prepares to launch Europe's biggest offering so far this year, listing its stock on Nasdaq OMX in Copenhagen.
    • The world's largest offshore wind energy operator has sold 17.4% of its shares to raise 17.1B kroner ($2.6B), giving the company a market value of 98.2B kroner ($15B).
    • Along with the Danish government, which holds over 50% of Dong, a Goldman-controlled (NYSE:GS) entity owns 14.7%, although that stake has been subject to heated controversy.
    | Thu, Jun. 9, 3:37 AM
  • Tue, Jun. 7, 4:15 AM
    • U.S. investigators are trying to determine whether Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) violated the Bank Secrecy Act when it didn't sound an alarm over a suspicious transaction involving Malaysia's state fund 1MDB.
    • After raising $3B via a bond issue for the troubled fund, Goldman sent the proceeds to a Swiss bank account controlled by 1MDB, with half of the money disappearing offshore within days and some reappearing in the prime minister's bank account.
    | Tue, Jun. 7, 4:15 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Jun. 6, 3:44 AM
    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) received more than a quarter of a million applications from students and graduates for jobs this summer, a rising number that is way more than the bank could ever employ.
    • The trend is mirrored at several other large banks such as JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), BofA (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C).
    • According to figures provided to the Financial Times, the number of these applications has risen more than 40% globally since 2012.
    | Mon, Jun. 6, 3:44 AM | 22 Comments
  • Thu, Jun. 2, 11:24 AM
    • In separate public comments today, Fed governors Daniel Tarullo and Jerome Powell said the Fed will require the eight largest U.S. banks to hold even more capital if they want to pass stress tests.
    • The goal, says Powell, is to make capital requirements so difficult that the largest lenders have to honestly assess whether it would be a better idea to break themselves up.
    • For now, the Fed is going to make 2015's capital surcharges permanent, which alone makes things tougher. "Really quite significant, probably the most significant additional potential capital requirement on the horizon." says former OCC Director John Dugan.
    • The eight: Bank of America (BAC -0.1%), Citigroup (C -0.3%), JPMorgan (JPM -0.4%), Morgan Stanley (MS -0.7%), Wells Fargo (WFC -0.5%), State Street (STT -0.7%), Goldman Sachs (GS -0.7%), BNY Mellon (BK -0.5%)
    | Thu, Jun. 2, 11:24 AM | 107 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 1, 12:40 PM
    • Goldman Sachs (GS +0.2%) eliminated dozens of managing directors, executive directors, and VPs across its mergers and debt and equity capital markets teams in the past few weeks, reports Bloomberg.
    • These cuts are in addition to the bank's annual cull of 5% of its employees thought to be underperformers. They're also in addition to cuts in the trading operation after Q1 profit in that division fell 60% from a year ago.
    • The M&A cuts are of interest as they come following a booming 2015, but with global activity off more than 80% this year. Earlier this week, President Gary Cohn said the same factors fueling mergers in 2015 are at work this year.
    | Wed, Jun. 1, 12:40 PM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, May 31, 3:26 PM
    • A low-growth environment with financing both cheap and plentiful makes for conditions which should continue to be conducive to robust M&A activity, says Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) President Gary Cohn, speaking at a conference.
    • Just $300B of deals were announced in Q1, the slowest pace since Q1 of 2014. This came, however, alongside a big swoon in markets in the year's first six weeks.
    • As for the swooning trading business (revenue fell 37% Y/Y in Q1), Cohn is optimistic, particularly as competitors pull back faster than Goldman is doing.
    | Tue, May 31, 3:26 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, May 31, 12:28 PM
    • Usually tech companies in IPO registration don't go looking for financing, but with the IPO market at a near-standstill, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) - already an equity investor and lead advisor to software company Nutanix - is now a debt holder after lending it $75M on favorable (for Goldman) terms.
    • The senior notes guarantee the bank will earn at least a 9% return. Nutanix has said it will repay the loan when it does go public. The sooner the IPO, the better the annualized return. If for whatever reason, Nutanix doesn't go public, the three-year paper carries a 10% annual interest rate.
    • Nutanix was valued at $2B in 2014.
    | Tue, May 31, 12:28 PM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, May 25, 9:41 AM
    • Absent last last year from a group asked to pitch Malaysia's largest sovereign wealth fund on a $750M bond sale was Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).
    • At issue is the bank's involvement with another government entity, 1Malaysia Development Bank, and its now ex-star banker Tim Leissner, who drew in a number of Malaysian clients and helped oversee three bond offerings for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.
    • Leissner has't been accused of wrongdoing, but 1MDB has, and Goldman has retained an outside law firm to conduct an internal probe of its role with the fund.
    • Goldman keeps its chin up: "Malaysian deal activity has been generally quiet but our dialogue with clients is positive and we are seeing a growing pipeline of transactions," says a spokesman.
    | Wed, May 25, 9:41 AM
  • Tue, May 24, 2:58 PM
    • Goldman Sach's (GS +1.4%) asset management unit - looking to expand access to alternative strategies for its wealthy clients - is raising money to take stakes in mid-sized and larger private-equity firms, reports Bloomberg.
    • Initial purchases will be made through the bank's Petershill II fund, which raised about $1.5B, and has mostly taken stakes in companies managing hedge funds.
    • For Goldman, stakes in P-E funds bring a steady stream of management fees. For the target P-E funds, Goldman can help them lure big-fish institutional clients.
    | Tue, May 24, 2:58 PM | 6 Comments
  • Fri, May 20, 2:29 PM
    • "We see the same things they must be seeing," Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein tells investors at the annual meeting. He's referring to the Fed, which turned from somewhat cautious on the economy to far more bullish in the past couple of weeks.
    • Of note, Goldman returned to Jersey City after a few years of taking its annual meeting on the road to California, Utah, and Texas as it looked to showcase growth and operations in areas outside of New York.
    | Fri, May 20, 2:29 PM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, May 18, 11:12 AM
    • Sweeping new compensation rules released by six federal agencies last month would free up pay restrictions for the BlackRock's (NYSE:BLK) of the world, while tightening them for banks like JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • The result is likely an even stronger flow of talent exodus from the big banks and to outfits like BlackRock, Vanguard, Pimco, and Fidelity, to name four.
    • “They keep making it more difficult to be a big bank,” says a D.C. attorney.
    • At those lenders with more than $250B in assets, top management would have 60% of their bonuses deferred for four years. Tough, but even tougher are clawback provisions allowing banks to take back money up to seven years after bonuses vest.
    • Though mammoth in size, the overwhelming majority of assets at BlackRock and the like are client, not proprietary assets. Thus, they aren't subject to the same restrictions. Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN), for instance, has $743B in AUM, but only about $16B of its own assets. Blackstone (NYSE:BX) manages $344B, but only $22B of its own money.
    | Wed, May 18, 11:12 AM | 32 Comments
  • Wed, May 18, 8:00 AM
    • Goldman Sachs Asset Management (NYSE:GS) is conducting a strategic review of its Australian equities and fixed-income businesses, reports Reuters, though it has not yet made a final decision on a sale.
    • The operation oversees just A$9B, making it a pretty small player in absolute terms, and in Oz's $2.6T wealth management industry.
    • Goldman last year sold its Indian fund management unit for $37.5M, but while the bank unloaded everything in India, it may keep its institutional business in Australia.
    | Wed, May 18, 8:00 AM
  • Sun, May 15, 8:23 AM
    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has quietly overtaken Chevron and ExxonMobil to become one of the biggest natural gas merchants in North America, expanding in physical commodities trading even as other banks pull back, FT reports.
    • The Wall Street institution last year bought and sold 1.2T cubic feet of physical gas in the U.S. - equal to a quarter of the country's residential consumption and more than twice its volumes in 2013.
    • According to Natural Gas Intelligence, Goldman is now the seventh-largest gas marketer in North America.
    | Sun, May 15, 8:23 AM | 13 Comments
  • Thu, May 12, 12:33 PM
    • Value-at-risk at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) jumped 50% amid Q1's volatility, reports Bloomberg. It's a figure standing in sharp contrast to declines of 25% or more at Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Deutshce Bank (NYSE:DB), and smaller falls at UBS, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
    • For Bank of America, it says the risk in its trading portfolio in Q1 was the lowest in any quarter since the Merrill Lynch merger in 2009.
    • While cutting VaR reduces risk, it also limits profits, and in past times. notes a former Fed bank examiner turned college teacher, banks used episodes of higher volatility to step in and make money. In a Dodd-Frank world, making money in this fashion may not be received well by regulators.
    | Thu, May 12, 12:33 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, May 12, 8:35 AM
    • In what could only be described as certain to happen once the Panama Papers leak hit, the New York Department of Financial Services has asked Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), along with BNP Paribas (OTCQX:BNPQY), CIBC (NYSE:CM), and Standard Chartered (OTCPK:SCBFF) about their possible involvement with shell companies, according to CNBC.
    • The NYDFS also requested information from 13 other lenders over the matter last month.
    | Thu, May 12, 8:35 AM | 3 Comments