The nation’s biggest banks begin reporting their fourth-quarter earnings figures this week, and experts say the numbers won’t be pretty.
“It’s likely 2011 will be the worst year for revenue growth for the banks since 1938, and so far 2012 isn’t feeling much better,” Michael Mayo, an analyst with Credit Agricole Securities, tells The New York Times.
“The industry simply grew too fast over the past two decades, and now it’s downshifting. This process will take time, but the hit to revenue is happening now,” says Mayo, author of the recent book “Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst’s Fight to Save the Big Banks from Themselves.”
Banks have run into a number of headwinds. First, there’s the tepid global economic recovery; second, Europe’s debt crisis; third, new government restraints on their trading activity; and fourth, volatile financial markets that make trading difficult in any case.
On Friday, analysts at five major research firms – Wells Fargo Securities, Sanford Bernstein, Barclays Capital, Ticonderoga Securities, and Meredith Whitney LLC – slashed their ratings or earnings estimates for investment banking titans Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, The Wall Street Journal reports.
And what is most upsetting for workers at the major banks is that they’re seeing pay cuts.
Compensation for Wall Street workers will probably register its lowest total in 2011 since 2008, when the industry was reeling from the financial crisis, according to The Journal.
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