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Morning Coffee: Deutsche bank’s fixed income business will look better than it is. JPM’s traders better than Goldmans’

Anshu Jain

Tomorrow, Deutsche Bank will release its fourth quarter results. Be warned, for they may not be what they seem.

Dirk Becker, an analyst at Kepler Chevreux in Frankfurt, told Bloomberg that Deutsche’s fixed income sales and trading results may appear unusually healthy compared to the same quarter of 2013. Admittedly, the baseline is not set very high:  JP Morgan’s fixed income revenues fell 23% in the fourth quarter, Goldman Sachs’ and Citi’s fell by 31%, and BofA’s fell by 35%. But when Deutsche unveils a smaller decline and declares that it’s winning market share and is therefore totally vindicated in its strategy of staying the distance in fixed income while competitors fall by the wayside, bear in mind that it had some very flattering comparables. – Deutsche lost market share in 2013 and is simply regaining lost ground, says Becker. Do not be deceived.

Separately, J.P. Morgan’s traders have gone one step beyond Goldman Sachs’. Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs CFO Harvey Schwartz said the bank had, “no issues” as far as the Swiss franc’s unexpected surge was concerned. – Goldman didn’t lose money, but nor did it seem to make any. It now emerges that J.P. Morgan has joined the litany of hedge fund managers which made money out of the Swiss franc’s move: the bank’s FX traders reportedly netted $250m-$300m on the day the Swiss National Bank scrapped the franc’s ceiling against the euro. They can now take it easy for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile:

Pressure is mounting on Anshu Jain to cut jobs in the investment bank. (Bloomberg) 

When Deutsche reports its results, attention will be focused on the struggling retail banking unit which may yet be sold off. Deutsche has 38,000 retail banking employees and they’re mostly in Germany and cannot easily be laid off. (Wall Street Journal) 

RBC Global Asset Management is building out its business in London. It now has 49 people, up from 28 at the end of 2013. (Financial News) 

Do not work in subprime auto loan securitization. It may be the new new thing, but it’s unsustainable. (DealBook) 

Why are investors holding government bonds with negative yields? (Economist)  

Reasons you were not promoted that are totally unrelated to your gender. (McSweeney’s) 

Why there is no point rewriting your resume 46 times. (MergersandInquisitions) 

Use this tool to estimate where you ranked in your CFA exam. (300Hours) 

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