Morgan Stanley did not have a great first quarter in fixed income: fixed income trading revenues at the bank were down 56% year-on-year and undershot the bank's quarterly trading target of around $1bn a quarter at $873m.,
Morgan Stanley does, however, have excuses. As we just reported, the bank's commodities trading business and oil merchanting division had an excellent first quarter to 2015 and were both part of the fixed income division. The oil merchanting business has since been divested.
Goldman Sachs has no such get-out clauses. However, Morgan Stanley's analysts think the bank's fixed income traders have just had the worst first quarter of the lot. The same applies to equities. Witness the chart below.
Morgan Stanley's analysts don't explain their pessimism about Goldman Sachs, but it might have something to do with the firm's strong performance in Q1 2015 after the Swiss franc devaluation.
Goldman announces its first quarter results tomorrow. All will soon become clear.