Why Was March So Bad For The Banks?

What happened in March that business at the major banks slid backwards?

Remember, on Friday JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon made some noises about March not being as good as January or February. Others have said the exact same thing. Good January and February, not as good March.

Because by all accounts, March was actually a pretty good month. Stocks were up and as David Goldman at AITimes notes, many of the assets to which banks are most directly exposed had a pretty good month:

The asset class to which the banks are most exposed at the moment, commercial real estate, showed considerable improvement, according to the Markit Index of AAA-rated bonds backed by commercial mortgages, or CMBX, with spreads tightening from LIBOR +800 to LIBOR +500. On a typical five-year security that’s neary 10 per cent of price appreciation. Subprime AAA’s are about unchanged on the month.

So what gives?

Is it just that the banking model, at its core, remains unprofitable, but that in January and February they were getting huge AIG payments?

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