Bank Holiday Ends?

March 28, 2009 in Finance

Now that Dimon has admitted that "March was a little tougher," does the party end?  Can we go back to thinking of the banks as villainous institution which can't manage their own risk to save themselves (poor choice of words)?

We don't always get a look into the month-by-month performance of the big banks; their quarterly earnings reports have to suffice.  But the knowledge that January and February were good, but March was "tougher" is certainly going to color the reception of bank earnings over the next few weeks.

Naively, it looks like the replicating portfolio for a large bank is just to short stocks -- January and February would be great, March would be killer tougher.  Maybe they figure if they over-hedge, things can't get any worse.  That worked out for Goldman in late 2007 when they shorted mortgages to protect their book.

Here's a tongue-in-cheek post from Slate on Citi's asset breakdown, following the revelation that 44% of their balance sheet is composed of "legacy assets."  Have fun PPIP'ing those away...

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