Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Goldman should drop 'client-driven' banner, WSJ says

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance this morning.

Goldman should drop 'client-driven' focus. In the wake of the now-infamous op-ed a departing Goldman Sachs banker wrote in The New York Times, the investment bank should drop its nominally "client-driven" focus and instead explain more clearly its motives and how it operates, a Wall Street Journal columnist opines. He says honesty could go a long way.

Wells moves up Q1 announcement. Wells Fargo will announce its first quarter earnings results at roughly the same time as JPMorgan Chase after traditionally being one of the last to report, a sign that the San Francisco bank wants to "set the tone" for the earnings season, Bloomberg says. It's an indication that the bank is confident that investors will be pleased with its report.

Wells Fargo limits participation in HARP 2.0. Wells Fargo, the country's largest mortgage lender, has decided to only participate in the Obama administration's new version of its refinancing program with loans it services, though it could refinance anyone's loan, according to left-leaning blog FireDogLake. The bank will also delay implementation of HARP 2.0 until April. FireDogLake calls this a "major setback" to the program.

BofA cutting equities staff. Bank of America is said to have laid off three energy analysts on its equities staff as it cuts expenses in its investment bank, Bloomberg reports.