Article Index
U.S. Banks

This Could Be a Big Catalyst for Bank Stocks After almost a decade of artificially low interest rates and nonexistent fixed income, it might be time for American banks re-enter the spotlight. Thanks to ultra-low interest rates and tighter regulations, U.S. banks have been languishing in the shadows.…

Prior to the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve bought minuscule amounts of U.S. government debt. In 2011, the Federal Reserve bought 61% of all net U.S. Treasuries issued (source: Wall Street Journal, Mar. 27, 2012). Reread that again, dear reader, to absorb its full meaning—61% of all issued…

The big banks have steadily recovered since the Lehman Brothers collapse in late 2008 that sent bank stocks in a punishing downward spiral, which inevitably required hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout funds from Uncle Sam to save the U.S. banks from collapse. In my view, this…

After 36 years, France has lost its coveted AAA credit rating. S&P downgraded France’s AAA credit rating one notch to AA+ late Friday, and the bad news didn’t stop in France. S&P maintained its outlook as negative for the country, which means that there is a one in…

As if the big U.S. banks didn’t have enough trouble. Besides the large U.S. banks’ exposure to Europe and to the derivatives on their balance sheet (off-balance sheet items, which is why no one can evaluate what they’re really worth), there is another issue—a lawsuit—that could cost the…

Back in October of 2009, I wrote a scathing editorial in the pages of PROFIT CONFIDENTIAL on my dislike for Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC) stock (Why I Don’t Like the Bank Stocks). Back then, Bank of America stock was trading at $17.00; today it trades at $5.37.…

I was in Miami last weekend and realtor after realtor was telling me that the biggest condo building bust in history has bottomed out and is rebounding with the U.S. housing market. Buyers are snapping up properties, one-third of them paying cash, and the best deals are gone.…

The big news yesterday: Fitch Ratings service comes out and issues a warning for U.S. banks. Fitch may lower its credit ratings of the large U.S. banks if the eurozone debt crisis is not resolved. U.S. bank stocks got hit hard on the news. Bank of America Corporation…

The big U.S. banks must be ecstatic. After 100 people at the Federal Reserve ended their review of major U.S. banks, the Fed concluded that some of the largest banks in this country could increase their dividends, buy back shares and repay government loans. JPMorgan Chase & Co.…

All the news this morning is about JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE/JPM) reporting that it made $4.8 billion in profit in its fourth quarter of 2010, beating analyst expectations again. Look at the chart of JPMorgan and you’ll see the stock has moved up from about $15.00 in…

Wednesday, I wrote how I was immediate-term bullish on the stock market. My three main reasons for being bullish: corporate earnings for the third quarter would surprise on the upside; a cloud of investor pessimism still prevails over the market; and stocks are simply attractive compared to U.S.…

Some old-time market watchers are still calling for Great Depression II. One research report I read earlier this week by a well-known economist says we are in a depression. I'm in the enviable position of being one of the few analysts who called the severity of this recession…

U.S. banks posted their biggest profit in three years for the quarter ended June 30, 2010. According to the FDIC, U.S. banks earned $21.6 billion in the second quarter of 2010. So, the improving economy is bringing bank profits back up again. When you add in the $18.0…

Economic issues have a concrete impact on any country's domestic policy. The problem is that world economies are so intertwined that their relationships and any issues arising from these relationships sometimes have an adverse impact on how governments formulate and implement policy. The U.S. policy has had its…

07/19/10 — Money was flowing on Wall Street last week. Add up the second-quarter profits of Intel (NASDAQ/INTC), Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG), Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE/JPM), Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE/C) and General Electric Company (NYSE/C) — which all reported their second-quarter profits last week…

— "The Financial World According to Inya" Column, by Inya Ivkovic, MA I watched a good Sunday movie, "The City of Ember." Sci-fi movies are not usually my cup of tea, but I liked it for a number of reasons, one among them for giving me an angle…

— "Profit Confidential" Column, by Michael Lombardi, CFP, MBA. Have you been watching Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC) stock lately? The last couple of weeks have been terrible for Bank of America stock. First, a rumor surfaced that the government would ask Bank of America to issue more…

— by Inya Ivkovic, MA Banks around the world have gone through probably the worst banking crisis in the past eight decades or so. Some have navigated their way through the crisis successfully, some not so much; the determining factors being business acumen, susceptibility to greed, and degree…

— by Michael Lombardi, CFP, MBA Quietly, without much media coverage, another three U.S. banks failed Friday, bringing the total number of bank failures to 40 for the year. The most recent casualties were the Southern Community Bank of Georgia, the Cooperative Bank of North Carolina, and the…

— by Inya Ivkovic, MA Nineteen big banks in the U.S. have gone through the Fed- administered financial health tests, some emerging with a passing grade, some with a qualified response, but now all claim to be on the mend. Five of the largest banks returned to profit…