As we’ve discussed, banker bonuses this year are going to be a relative disgrace. If you are one of those about to get shafted in spite of helping your employers find a way to, well, make bank amidst the economic collapse of 2020 and its associated horrors, how angry should you be about that, especially given certain other new cost-savings? Well, uh, it’s all relative.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. posted its highest-ever quarterly profit after releasing $2.9 billion in funds it had set aside to cover soured loans…. For the full year, through an economic spiral and an uneven recovery, JPMorgan posted record revenue of $119.54 billion, up 4% from 2019. The growth was powered by the Wall Street operation, which churned out stocks and bonds for clients eager to raise capital and trade securities amid an unsettled economy and record-high markets.

So, in spite of that juicing, those of you at the House of Dimon should feel free to be pretty goddamned pissed off about things. Those at Wells Fargo? Less so, and not only because they should still, after everything, be pretty grateful to still have jobs at all.

The San Francisco-based lender said Friday that it made $2.99 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $2.87 billion a year earlier…. Wells Fargo has been laying off employees and is expected to ultimately cut tens of thousands of people. The bank said Friday it reduced head count by more than 6,000 last quarter, largely in its consumer-banking and lending operations.

Meanwhile, don’t go crying to Jane Fraser, even if things were not as bad as they could have been.

Citigroup said earnings fell 7% to $4.63 billion, or $2.08 a share, compared with the $1.34 a share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Companywide revenue fell 10% to $16.5 billion, below the estimate of $16.7 billion…. Citigroup has said it expected fourth-quarter trading revenues to climb 15% from a year earlier, while investment banking fees should climb by 10% to 15%.

JPMorgan Profit Soars 42% After Bank Releases Reserves for Bad Loans [WSJ]
Wells Fargo Profit Rises to End Topsy-Turvy Year [WSJ]
Citigroup beats analysts’ profit estimates as bank releases money set aside for loan losses [CNBC]
With Vaccines and Stimulus on the Way, Banks Brighten Their Outlook [NYT]

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