Third-quarter earnings results for the U.S. investment-banking business will start rolling in soon, and the numbers are certain to be ugly, according to The Economist. Not long ago, big banks could show returns of more than 30% on equity, but now the best they can hope for is something in the teens. "With such a foggy outlook, it is only natural that markets value many investment banks at or below book value," the magazine notes. "If another golden age is coming, investors can't see it."

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