Small-scale protectionism does not help the prospects of European banks


Among the series of achievements Joe Biden made on his European tour last week, Ease In the trade relationship between the European Union and the United States, marked by the end of the punitive tariff system of Boeing and Airbus, is one of the more striking events.

But many tensions still exist — the most obvious is the EU’s war with Silicon Valley’s tech giants, which recently prompted US officials to complain about Brussels’ “Protectionist measures”Less obvious, but also a symbol of continued friction is how and by whom the EU chooses to conduct bond auctions.

As Brussels ramps up its debt issuance — a record 800 million euro recovery fund was launched last week — the list of syndicated banks participating in the transaction speaks for itself.in a Unprecedented mobility, The European Commission excluded 10 institutions on the grounds that they have historically violated antitrust rules.

The moral argument here is hard to fault: In recent years, many banks have been found guilty of collusion in various markets, resulting in billions of dollars in fines. They are prohibited from continuing to conduct business until, as the committee said, they have demonstrated “remedies” to make them “suitable to become counterparties to the EU,” which is a logical result. But it also seems arbitrary — the EU has done business with blacklisted banks in the past — and cynically synchronized with its flagship recovery fund program.

Bankers in the United Kingdom and the United States saw this decision as an example of an attitude designed to punish the United States and the post-Brexit United Kingdom amid ongoing geopolitical tensions. Five of the 10 banned banks are British or American banks, and they all have European platforms in the City of London.

Instead, the plan mainly chose second-tier investment banks in continental Europe, although the European Union said on Friday that after promising to show “integrity”, it will allow 8 of the 10 excluded to engage in future transactions.

If this is protectionism, then it may be completely self-defeating for European banks — not just by selling through smaller, less closely connected institutions that may pay higher prices. The more inward EU financial markets become, the greater the risk of their further decline.

Over the past decade or so, the already large gap between American and European banks has widened. The relative market value of JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank proves this. According to the data provider Macrotrends, Germany is worth it At its peak in 2007, it was USD 79 billion, and USD 179 billion JPMorganToday, this difference has widened to 29 billion US dollars, and 470 billion US dollars.

Until recently, global investment banks fell out of favor with retail banks: the impact of post-financial crisis supervision has hit investment banks, and their more complex business models have become outdated.

But as the latest research by JPMorgan Chase Bank analysts points out, there are several reasons to reverse this view. Compared with wholesale institutions, technical challengers pay more attention to retail banks. Regulation has built a wall around established investment banks, making it harder for upstarts to challenge them. In a more turbulent environment, the market business of investment banks is booming. In addition, retail banking has been particularly squeezed due to ultra-low interest rates that narrowed the spread between deposits and loans.

Together, these are powerful supplements for the large U.S. banks, most of which have large investment banking units and invest the most in technological advancement, which will help accelerate their performance.

Considering that the post-2008 supervision has provided isolation for the investment bank’s business model and reduced reliance on holding assets on the balance sheet, even if the market and the global economy undergo a sharp adjustment, it should not be catastrophic.

According to the analysis of JPMorgan Chase, a weak bright spot among European banks is Barclays. Its investment bank is JP’s third most popular after Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The rebound in Barclays’ investment banking business in recent months has been so remarkable that it prompted former rights shareholder Edward Bramson give up Perform his mission and disband the troops.

If trivial politics did allow Brussels to freeze most non-EU banks from last week’s bond syndicate, the bright prospects of Bank of America (plus Barclays Bank) will be reminiscent of the previous tariff war between Boeing and Airbus. . The most bitter.

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