You may have heard that the Swiss really threw, well, everyone for a loop yesterday, doing the thing they said they’d never, ever do. Why? Because they could? Or because they’d rather not have to buy any more of an increasingly worthless currency. Either way, everyone’s screwed. Read more »
So the clowns over at Citigroup had another underwhelming performance? What else is new? Brian Moynihan still look like his favorite Irish setter was just flattened by an asphalt roller? Yawn. JPMorgan Chase still being held upside-down by the Justice Department until all of its profits (and then some) fall out? Unfortunate, but not unexpected.
Goldman Sachs Posts Lowest Annual Trading Revenue Since 2005 (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), which set a Wall Street record for trading revenue in 2009, posted less than half that amount in 2014 as revenue from the firm’s biggest business fell to the lowest in almost a decade. The decline helped push fourth-quarter net income 7.1 percent lower to $2.17 billion, or $4.38 a share, from $2.33 billion, or $4.60, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Friday in a statement. The average estimate of 23 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was $4.36.
UBS’s Richest Clients Seen Flocking to Dollars After Swiss Franc Shock (Bloomberg)
UBS Group AG (UBSG), the largest Swiss bank, said its wealthiest clients will be attracted to U.S. dollars after Switzerland roiled markets by scrapping the franc’s cap. Private-banking customers are concerned a stronger franc will hurt Switzerland’s economy and the businesses they own, Simon Smiles, Zurich-based chief investment officer for ultra-high-net-worth individuals at UBS, said on Friday in an interview. Clients worldwide have yet to decide on whether to change currency allocations, he said. The bank cut its growth forecast for Switzerland and predicts the country will slip into deflation this year.
Greece’s Eurobank, Alpha Bank Ask Central Bank for Emergency Liquidity Assistance (WSJ)
Two of Greece’s biggest lenders, Eurobank Ergasias and Alpha Bank , have formally requested access to an emergency cash facility run by the country’s central bank, amid concerns that liquidity conditions in Greece’s banking sector were tightening in the run-up to national elections later this month. Banking officials from the two lenders said Friday that the moves were only a precaution and that neither faced an immediate cash crunch. “We have made an application to the central bank,” a senior executive at one of the banks said, “but it is strictly on a precautionary basis.”
British Man Convicted After Having Sex With A Mailbox (HP)
Paul Bennett, 45, pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of indecent exposure and using threatening and abusive words with abusive behavior, the Mirror reports. The plea stemmed from a Sept. 9 incident where he attempted to have sex with a mailbox in a public area. Witnesses told the court they saw Bennett pull down his pants in a shopping arcade and start to publicly perform a sexual act on himself in public. Prosecuting attorney Kate Beattie said Bennett then walked over to the postbox and “started to make sexual advances towards it,” according to the Mirror. Bennett reportedly rubbed himself against the mailbox while holding his hands in the air. Witnesses said he kept shouting “Wow!” during his mailbox masturbation. After he finished, Bennett pulled up his pants and started swinging on a lamppost, according to the Manchester Evening News. Read more »
$$$ Outbursts of obscenities and confusion followed the Swiss central bank’s surprise decision to abolish its three-year-old policy of capping the Swiss franc against the euro, according to traders in London’s financial district. [Bloomberg]
$$$ Yellen Signals She Won’t Babysit Markets in Turmoil [Bloomberg]
Bill Ackman Thinks Hedge Funds Great, A Statement He Makes As A Total Outsider With No Ties To The IndustryBy Bess Levin
Let’s get one thing straight. Pershing Square is not a hedge fund. And Bill would appreciate it if you’d stop describing it as thus. Read more »
Minus Plunging Profits, Huge Legal Fees? Citigroup Had A Great Fourth Quarter, “Made Progress” In Mike Corbat’s MindBy Jon Shazar
Earlier today, Citigroup chief Mike Corbat told analysts that the bank has made “significant progress on our top priorities.” Said priorities do not appear to include boosting profits and revenues or trading, but may include paying as much as possible on legal matters. Read more »
Tommy Chong can’t think of anyone. And if you want to be in the business of managing and marketing such a fund, or maybe are just looking for an extremely-well qualified marijuana analyst, you’d better give him a ring down at the dispensary. Read more »