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A general view of the Capitol during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the...

Breakingviews - Biden’s dream team faces a nightmare

A nightmare awaits Joe Biden’s economic dream team. The pandemic has worsened structural problems: the poor have gotten poorer, marginalized people are losing jobs quicker, and the workforce is even further out of reach for the unemployed. The new U.S. president, who was sworn into office on Wednesday, has chosen experienced aides, but they will need imagination too.

A sign is displayed on the Morgan Stanley building in New York U.S., July...

Breakingviews - Morgan Stanley serves up best of two weird worlds

Morgan Stanley has a foot in two worlds, both of them distorted in ways that help the Wall Street firm. On Wednesday the company run by James Gorman reported a 57% increase in earnings over 2020, driven by a surge in its stock and bond trading business. Banks can’t rely on a repeat of that, but a stock-fueled M&A spree leaves Morgan Stanley well placed for what comes after.

A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed inside the company's post on the floor of...

Breakingviews - Goldman progress masked by trading boom, bad deeds

It's nearly a year since Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon laid out ambitious targets for his Wall Street firm, but it might as well be a lifetime. The bank’s 2020 performance was buffeted wildly by a combination of good times for traders, terrible times for almost everyone else, and a legacy of bad behavior in Goldman’s own ranks. Remove the noise and Goldman still hit a sweet spot.

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