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CNA: US Banking Giants Optimistic Amid Nasdaq Drop, Market Resilience in Question

The full episode was posted at It may be removed after a few weeks. This video segment is owned by CNA.

US banking giants express optimism for the year ahead despite warning of potential risks to the economic recovery. Sachs reports a 51% increase in earnings, driven by strong performance in asset and wealth management. However, Morgan Stanley’s net income falls over 30% due to charges, reflecting a mixed performance in the banking sector. The market sell-off is attributed to concerns about the resilience of US markets, potential volatility in the coming months, and uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential election and US fiscal spending.

Additionally, Wall Street is affected by the mixed reports from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley weighing on market sentiment.

The show also discusses the upcoming reports from middle regional banks to gauge the performance of commercial lending, consumer activity, and the overall tone for corporate finance and insurance in the next quarter. Overall, market sentiment remains cautious due to uncertainties surrounding economic indicators, the upcoming election, and fiscal spending in the US.

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US banking giants are finally calling the bottom, signaling a deal making comeback in the coming months. Executives of two major lenders expressed optimism for the year ahead as they reported fourth quarter earnings. But they also warned of risks that could disrupt the economic recovery. And Goldman Sachs stuck the landing after tumultuous year for the bank. Its earnings jumped 51% in the fourth quarter from a year ago. A strong performance from its asset and wealth management business supported the profit boost, offsetting weaker investment banking, and its shares ended up about seven tenths of a percent. Meantime, Morgan Stanley also topped revenue estimates on an investment banking rebound. But the net income fell more than 30% due to one of charges, pushing its shares lower by more than 4% there. Now it is the first scorecard under new CEO Ted pick, who warned of two major downside risks, including concerns around geopolitics and the health of the US economy. Those bank earnings results posing one of the biggest drags on Wall street, pushing all three major indices lower overnight. Now the S&P 500 had been trading near its all time closing peak, reached in 2022 over the past several sessions, but it is now down about 1% from that record high.


Meantime, the tech heavy Nasdaq shed about two tenths of a percent. Boeing was the biggest loser in the Dow, shedding about 8%. The plane maker has yet to regain investor confidence after us aviation regulators extended the grounding of its seven three seven max nine jets indefinitely for new safety checks. Spirit Airlines, though, losing more altitude over a blocked acquisition deal. A federal judge ruled against JetBlue’s nearly $4 billion takeover proposal of spirit airlines over antitrust issues. And as equities tumbled, US treasury yields rose with the dollar amid easing rate cut expectations. Yields on benchmark tenure notes are back above 4%. Again on hawkish remarks from Fed governor Christopher Waller. Tony Nash, founder and CEO at Complete Intelligence, joins us for more now. Tony, we’re looking at Wall Street’s sell off accelerating. We’re hearing at the that, you know, markets may have gotten ahead of themselves regarding how deep and how fast those policy rate cuts could be. Your take on that and how we can expect markets to move?

Tony Nash

Sure, the problem with us markets right now is that they’re priced for perfection. So if anything goes wrong, if the Fed signals an overly hawkish message or an overly dovish message, or say, a government macroeconomic data print comes out that isn’t perfect, or if company earnings don’t come out that aren’t perfect, then we can really see some wobbles in us markets. So I’m not really sure about the resilience of markets here. I think what we’ve been telling our customers is you’re going to see some intramonth volatility for the next few months until investors become confident in the direction of the Fed.


At the same time, this year is a pretty big one. For the US. It is election year. How much of this of lack last step performance is actually due to this? S&P 500 historically performs well in an election year, but it typically sees a slower start first, or is this just part of what is usually happening?

Tony Nash

Yeah, a lot of this really depends on Janet Yellen, the treasury secretary. If she can sell enough bonds to have cash to spend money from the US government, then we can really see markets rally pretty hard. But if Yellen can’t get the authority and can’t sell the bonds necessary to do that, then the US fiscal spending will be problematic. We also have a budget that’s going through in the US and a tentative budget agreement. If the Republicans halt that agreement and make more fiscal spending cut demands, then that could weigh on the US economy as well. Yes, traditionally markets do well in a presidential year, but I think there’s a little bit uncertainty around the election. And people, I think people are a little bit hesitant to spend partly because they’re a little bit loaded up on debt or a lot loaded up on debt. And we’ve seen a really robust 22 and 23. And so really people are wondering how far can we push this in 2024?


Indeed, dampening sentiment there. Big bank earnings. We’ve got Goldman and Morgan did the latest two report appears to be quite a mixed bag, but mostly not so great this quarter. And that’s weighed on Wall street as well. How do you read the latest earnings report? Are we talking bad debt, the lingering effects of high for longer rates? And what does it tell you about the consumer?

Tony Nash

Yeah, I think that what we’re really waiting for is some of these middle regional banks to see how they report because we’ll know how, say, commercial lending is doing and how commercial real estate lending and how consumers are doing. It’ll be much more evident as we see these regional and mid sized banks report. The larger banks, they’ll be fine. They are fine. They know how to manage and trade off the different lines of business that they have. It really is the mid sized banks that we’re waiting on and that will set the tone for a lot of the corporate finance and banking and insurance for the next quarter.


All right, Tony, appreciate time this morning. Tony Nash, founder and CEO at Complete Intelligence.


Markets Pause As Wells, BOFA Miss And Stimulus Remain Distant

In this discussion with BFM 89.9, Tony Nash shares views on the recent bank earnings, update on Brexit and why it’s stalled, the future of Hong Kong and how vaccine news play for markets.


This podcast first appeared and originally published at on October 15, 2020.


BFM Description


The diminishing likelihood of stimulus and poor bank earnings have paused stock markets for now, as electioneering ramps up ahead of November polls, according to Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, who discusses bank earnings, market expectations as well as Brexit.


Produced by: Mike Gong


Presented by: Khoo Hsu Chuang, Wong Shou Ning


Show Notes


KHC: On the line with us now is Tony of Complete Intelligence for some clarity on markets. Tony, thanks for talking to us. Now, obviously, the Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs have all reported results so far. What is your take on the financial sector earnings thus far?


TN: Goldman obviously reported really well, Bank of America is down five percent. There was a huge disappointment there. Could get worse. A lot of that had to do with these penalties that were levied several weeks ago. But it looks like the investment banks are doing much better than the consumer banks. And until we get a next round of stimulus and we start to see money moving into the accounts of those guys who are unemployed, which is not a small number in the US, I think consumer banks will continue to suffer.


KHC: On that particular issue of the impasse in terms of a stimulus being introduced before elections, what is the biggest deterrent to consensus being reached on that front?


TN: One of the biggest issues is that you have a lot of states, all of them that are Democrat states that are heavily indebted. So what the House majority leader is pushing is a bailout program for those Democrat states like California, New York, Illinois, that have have billions of dollars in debt that have been racked up over the last 10 or 20 years. What are typically Republican states typically have balanced budgets. It would effectively be the Republican states bailing out the Democrat states. It’s a problem here in the US.


The other item is the House majority leader, Nancy Pelosi, wants to give stimulus checks to illegal immigrants in the US. She wants to give a few thousand dollars to people who are in the US illegally. And the Republicans are saying, no, why would we do that? So those are two of the things that are really holding things up in terms of the stimulus plan. And it’s electioneering. Democrats want to give money to the party faithful in their heavily indebted blue states. And they also want to try to get some votes from the illegal aliens who aren’t legally allowed to vote. But they want to get some loyalty from those illegal immigrants who are in the US.


WSN: Another thing that seems to be having an impact on markets is vaccine news. So every time we hear of a vaccine trial feeding, markets correct. Is it possible at all to quantify how much of this is in the markets really in terms of optimism?


TN: Remember, in 2019, every day, whenever we needed a bump in markets, Trump would tweet, a trade deal is near. And then we finally had the phase one deal in December. It seems like whenever there’s a tweet or some news about a vaccine, it’s because a bump in markets is needed. There’s a lot of cynicism among traders about vaccine. Until we see something actually proven and actually in a market, you’re not going to see a real firm belief in the difference it can make. So it’s going to be at least Q1 or so before we see things deployed.


We don’t necessarily expect the benefits to happen until 2021. But the problem, at least here in the US, is that nobody wants to be the guinea pig. At least half of Americans surveyed don’t want to be the first one. They’re going to have to see some high-level politicians go in, roll up their sleeves, get the job and and really face the consequences, if there are any negative consequences, because a lot of Americans just aren’t believers and they’re really worried about the effects of it.


KHC: OK, switching to the UK, if the UK fails to negotiate a Brexit deadline deal today, how should investors position themselves? And would you recommend shorting sterling assets?


TN: I think it’s a possibility. I don’t know if I’d necessarily recommend it, because I think the status quo is baked in to expectations. We haven’t necessarily had a positive outlook to negotiations for two or three years now. I think the expectation is that things will continue to muddle through and markets will fold that end. So I don’t know. Outside of a very positive agreement for the UK, I don’t necessarily think there’s huge upside anywhere.


And outside of a very negative concession given by the UK, I don’t think there’s huge downside anywhere because the EU is just intransigent there. They’ve been embarrassed by this whole process. They don’t want to negotiate and they’re not moving at all. So I think we’re in the range of where things will be outside of a major announcement somewhere.


WSN: Looking at China yesterday or a few days ago, his speech has outlined a comprehensive vision of for Shenzhen. What does this mean for Hong Kong’s economic future? Do you see a bright, a bleak one for the city street?


TN: Hong Kong’s fate was sealed in 2014 with the demonstrations. And I’ve been saying this since twenty fifteen. At that time, the MDC and the folks in the central government were planning on other options for the activities that were happening in Hong Kong. What we saw with the announcement in Shenzhen yesterday was simply cementing Shenzhen’s place, the central city at the end of the PRD, right at the end of the Pearl River Delta.


And so Hong Kong is no longer the central location. It is a place to get hard currency. But it’s no longer an industrial location. I believe we’ll start to see financial services move to other places over the next ten years. Not an overnight activity, but it’s something that certainly the central government wants to happen.


KHC: OK, Tony, thanks so much for your time. That was Tony Nash of Complete Intelligence.


His comments in terms of of China also resonate because we’ve got certain diplomats, a top ranking government officials coming to the Asian region for a charm offensive, but also his comments on banks, a tale of two halves, really, consumer banks that well said Bank of America really failed to meet expectations. They did beat expectations, but they felt some way of sort of you and your performance numbers. But then the investment banks like Goldman Sachs have done really well because of the trading desks and the stimulus checks that were written in the third quarter.


WSN: Yeah, actually, 2020 is the reverse of 2008 during the great financial crisis. If you remember then American banks itself, all the investment banks. Right, because of the derivative losses in the books exposed to the shuffle in equity markets. But this time around, actually, the volatility has really helped them. So for a change, they’ve seen incredible jumps in trading investment income. But it’s the main street banks which are feeling the pinch. So, yes, there’s an increase in deposits for these banks.


But for the consumer banks, for the main street banks, nobody or less people are taking out loans, is less credit cut usage as a result. So, you know, no such not such good times for the consumer banks. Better for the. And bad guys out there.


KHC: Now, of course, and Morgan Stanley reports tomorrow we saw net interest margin set wells and Bank of America really being crushed as well. And not many, not many companies reporting earnings are giving outlook statements.