An insight into what it was like working in trading at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America during the second quarter
US banks' 10Q reports have been filed. As ever, they contain charts showing incidences of profitable and loss-making trading days during the most recent quarter. Citigroup is an exception: it seems to have dropped the chart from its 10Q this time. JPMorgan has decided to only show a chart for its trading days in Q1 and Q2 combined (possibly due to various challenges in Q2).
Based upon the charts at Goldman, Morgan Stanley and BofA, this is what can be concluded about what it's like to work there as a trader
Goldman Sachs: Big risks, big profits, big loss tolerance
6 days of trading losses in the second quarter
2 days losing more than $50m
15 days making more than $75m
As was the case last time we looked, Goldman Sachs comes out as the big risk taker, whose risks pay off more often than not. It made big losses on two days last quarter and fairly big losses on 1.
Morgan Stanley: Small risks, small profits, big losses
15 days of trading losses in the second quarter
No days of losing more than $50m
6 days of making more than $75m
Once again, Morgan Stanley's traders come out looking bad. Not only did they have more than twice as many days of net losses as traders at Goldman Sachs, but they had comparatively few days of making big profits. On the other hand, they had no days of really huge losses - probably because Morgan Stanley doesn't trust them with any risk.
Bank of America: An exemplary performance
0 trading losses in the second quarter
26 days of making more than $75m
Since Tom Montag took control, Bank of America's traders have turned their game around. The second quarter was exemplary: there were no losses and far more days of large profits than elsewhere. Bank of America looks like an organisation where traders are given big risk limits and where they put them to very good effect.