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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Citi Reports $4.69 Billion in Fixed Income Trading

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We'll see if the rally in Aussie shares can keep on keeping on this week. We have our doubts. Not least because the optimism surrounding bank share is not only misplaced. It's naive.

So the banks have returned to profitability have they? That was the theme on the market last week. And if it were true, a recovery in bank balance sheets is just the sort of thing that might precede a recovery in the economy. But it probably isn't true. Here's why...

The big three banks reporting last week-Citibank, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan-all reported huge revenues from their trading desks. As we reported last week, Goldman's $6.6 billion in trading revenues was not only 70% of total revenues, but it was also a ten billion dollar improvement on a $4 billion loss in the fourth quarter.

JP Morgan reported nearly $5 billion in revenues from fixed income securities trading. And Citigroup reported $4.69 billion in fixed income trading. In fact, all of Citigroup's other major operating segments reported declining revenues for the quarter. Its global credit card revenues fell by 10%. Consumer banking revenues were down 18%. And Citi's Global Wealth Management revenues were down 20%.

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