Mirror, mirror on the wall, which banks will take the biggest fall?

eFC logo

Or more to the point - whose stock's down the most and who'll get the lowest bonuses this year?

Here's where things stand as of the start of the week. With Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers all reporting third quarter results in the next few weeks, there should be a little more illumination soon.


Barclays appears to be embroiled in the funding crisis that has hit German banks. According to The Times, it's has been aggressively marketing so-called 'SIV Lite' products, which allow German banks to issue bonds that finance their purchases of mortgage-backed securities without going through their balance sheets. With no-one now willing buy those bonds, German banks are in a bit of a pickle. Barclays has reportedly been forced to make margin calls on one of its SIV Lite initiatives linked to Sachsen LB - a failed German public sector bank (although, showing just how thorny an issue this is, Barclays reportedly told the Telegraph it had nothing to do with Sachsen's struggles) . It's also said to be looking at restructuring an SIV Lite run by Cairn Capital, a London-based hedge fund. The full extent of the bank's losses isn't yet known, but if it exceeds 700m (one tenth of profits) The Times says it will be forced to make an announcement.

Late last week, Barclays' stock price was down around 30% on the start of the year.

Bear Stearns

Ever since June, when it revealed two of its hedge funds had lost around US$1.5bn thanks to dodgy sub-prime investments, Bear hasn't been looking too healthy. On 23 August, stock issued to Bear Stearns bankers last year was under water to the tune of 44%. According to Financial News management at the bank have agreed to issue more stock at current prices if things don't get any better before the year end.

Late last week, Bear's stock price was down around 59% on the start of the year.


Citi's not exactly renowned for paying generous bonuses and this year's payouts look set to be even less lavish than usual. Earlier this month, the Financial Times quoted Howard Mason, analyst at Sanford Bernstein, as estimating that Citi could face markdowns of anything from US$1.5bn to US$3bn this quarter thanks to subprime losses and US$700m of losses on credit products in July. Mason also predicted 50% of those losses would be covered by lower pay. Meanwhile, the New York Times points out that Citi could also lose on its fixed income business, which accounts for 15% of revenues and isn't likely to be up to much for the rest of the year.

Late last week, Citi's stock price was down around 24% on the start of the year.

Deutsche Bank

No one knows what's going on with Deutsche Bank (OK - we don't), but according to Bloomberg, Keith Horowitz, analyst at Citi, calculates that Deutsche has US$27.3bn of leveraged buyout debt still on its balance sheet. The bank is also a big player in fixed income and is likely to suffer from inactivity in the credit markets.

Late last week, Deutsche Bank's stock price was down around 13% on the start of the year.

Goldman Sachs

Earlier this month, Goldman was forced to pump US$3bn into its Global Equity Opportunities (GEO) fund after it emerged the fund had sustained losses of nearly 30%. According to Bloomberg, Horowitz calculates that Goldman has US$31.9bn of leveraged buyout debt still on its balance sheet.

Late last week, Goldman's stock price was down around 23% on the start of the year.


Bloomberg says JPMorgan could be on track to lose out to the tune of US$1.4bn thanks to loans it can't sell on in illiquid credit markets. The site quotes Horowitz (again), who apparently calculates that JP has US$40.8bn of leveraged buyout debt still on its balance sheet. Like Citi and Deutsche, JPMorgan is also liable to lose out through inactivity in the debt markets - the New York Times points out that fixed income accounts for 17% of revenues.

Late last week, JPMorgan's stock price was down around 13% on the start of the year.


One of the first to show symptoms of pain, UBS revealed losses of CHF150m at its hedge fund arm, Dillon Read Capital Management, in May, although The Times reports that losses associated with the fund have been offset by the sale of a 20% stake in fund manager Julius Baer worth CHF1.9bn. Nevertheless, the paper says analysts believe the bank could be sitting on as much as CHF20bn (US$16.6bn) in mainly sub-prime investments by DRCM.

Late last week, UBS' stock price was down around 29% on the start of the year.

Popular job sectors


Search jobs

Search articles