However, according to Bloomberg News, a return to sky-high profits isn’t enough for the banking industry, which reacted to the numbers by whining about regulation and “a backlash against bankers“:
Those billions of dollars in profits aren’t enough, according to interviews with more than a dozen bank executives and analysts. The lowest leverage in a decade, return on equity at a third of 2006 levels, higher capital requirements, shares trading below book value, declining bonuses, job cuts, the European sovereign-debt crisis and a backlash against bankers have damped the joys of profit, they said.
Thes six banks — Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley — “will have combined profits of $9.9 billion in the third quarter, $17.4 billion in the last three months of the year and $75.8 billion in 2013″ according to estimates. “When the banks say, ‘We’re doing very well but not getting a return on our capital,’ it’s completely incomprehensible, and it’s angering to the average American,” said Michael Greenberger, a former regulator who now teaches at the University of Maryland’s law school.
The banks’ return to massive profitability also refutes the argument that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law will cripple the ability of financial services companies to make money. According to a recent study, the nation’s banks went right back to making risky loans after receiving their taxpayer-funded bailout.