Bank analyst Meredith Whitney was just on CNBC, and the first thing she was asked about was the new $1 billion lawsuit against Bank of America.
What she said in response goes for the whole Street — expect more lawsuits as a cost of doing business.
“This is going to be an endless beat down for the banks in terms of legal claims.”
Whitney talked to Bank of America today, though, and they think the case is meritless because five of the issues at hand have been settled, one isn’t worth pursuing and another is questionable.
This is ugly, but the fact that financials are such complicated investments right now creates opportunities on the long side, she added.
Additionally, Whitney pointed out that banks around the world have higher capital requirements and good returns on equity. It’s just a matter of American banks streamlining their businesses.
That, of course, ties into job cuts. This quarter the big banks were helped along by QE3, and they still have a long way to go. Their efficiency ratios are not where they should be. That said: More layoffs, to Whitney, are a foregone conclusion.
“Lets look at banks as widget companies. They’ve got to get their expenses in order.”
So yeah, still basically all bad news.
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