All Articles Finance While You Were Working - February 22

While You Were Working – February 22

Citigroup goes to Washington, Goldman Sachs states the obvious, Big banks make FinTech play

2 min read


Gary Cohn

Andrew Harrer/Getty Images

Welcome to the Beltway

Citigroup has announced it is opening a global regulatory affairs office in Washington, D.C., so the bank can stay on the frontlines of the regulatory rollback expected under the Trump administration. It kind of makes one wonder why the bank didn’t already have a shop inside the Beltway. Perhaps the team will be able to assist with the lengthy cost-benefit analysis that will surely accompany the elimination of any regulation.  

If only Goldman Sachs had an inkling

The opening two paragraphs from this Financial Times piece just about say it all:

“A rising tide may no longer be lifting all boats. Volatility for the US stock market as a whole has fallen since November’s election, but investors can still find ample returns in projecting how the policies of the new administration will impact individual companies, according to Goldman Sachs.

Policy uncertainty stemming from the Trump administration will “create ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and stock performance increasingly will be driven by idiosyncratic factors, such as sensitivity to wage inflation, margin pressures, and uses of cash,” according to David Kostin, the investment bank’s chief equity strategist.”

Now if only Goldman Sachs had an inkling about how that policy uncertainty will shake out, then they would be able to make some real money. If only Goldman Sachs spent 36 years or so employing the man who sits atop the Trump administration’s economic policy-making team, that might help the Firm know what direction he will steer policy. If only.

The important thing about FinTech

I love stories about big banks and FinTech. Making banking easier is always a good idea in my book. So even if this story about big banks collaborating on Zelle to take aim at Venmo has a certain “we can do that too” feeling to it, I am all in. What is important is that a simpler transaction process is being made available to a wider group of consumers That is a good thing. It is just like mobile check deposits. I don’t care if my specific bank pioneered the technology; I am just glad my bank adopted it.