Here's a look at this morning's banking and finance news:
- Analyst Chris Whalen says smaller banks are stronger than big banks, praising those that practice old-fashioned lending and avoid risky moves, the New York Times reports. Now, he's setting up an investment fund focused on small and midsized banks.
- The Federal Reserve's forecast of nearly three more years of "exceptionally low" rates has left some economists scrambling to figure out what the Fed means, Reuters reports.
- Stocks were climbing this morning after European countries agreed to tighter budget controls and Greece made progress on debt talks, Bloomberg writes.
- The New York Times reports Wall Street bankers found an ally in their fight against the Volcker Rule, the piece of Dodd-Frank that prohibits banks from making risky bets with their own money, in Davos: foreign governments.
- Finance industry gossip site DealBreaker is watching for more investment-bank layoffs at Bank of America this spring.