I'm still trying to digest Gabriel Sherman's New York Magazine piece on "The End of Wall Street as They Knew It," suggesting that the great barbecue is over in money-center banking, and not coming back. You'd kind of hope that part of this is true though it reads so much like a PR man's dream you can't help but wonder whether Sherman wrote it as a job application. There is one thread I want to pull at the moment, though. Specifically Sherman, observing that JP Morgan Chase seems to be sailing relatively unscathed through the troubled waters "unlike that of his rivals at Goldman, has a real, physical business to fall back on"--i.e., old-fashioned deposits and loans, or as we used to call it "banking." I stack that one up against the cover story in Forbes about Wells Fargo "The Bank that Works," as the headline writer announces.
I'm struggling to avoid swallowing the hype here, and I'm writing almost totally unencumbered by actual knowledge. And god knows old fashioned banking has its own history of crimes and follies (the watch list of troubled banks still stands somewhere in the 900s, I think." But recall that old-fashioned banking tended to be (a) boring (b) not very profitable and (c) often pretty steady. Could it be the boring and not very profitable parts are what is holding the ship above water now?
[Ed.--Buce, this is incoherent. B of A and Citi are both huge in old-fashioned banking (as you call it) and they are both a mess. Buce--wal,yes I suppose so, but maybe without old fashioned they would be an even bigger mess? Ed.--Buce, now you are floundering.]