You should be working for JPMorgan.
Yesterday's results were outstanding. Admittedly, no other bank has reported on the second quarter yet, but any other bank would struggle to do as well.
This is why you should be working for JPMorgan's investment bank.
1) The share price
Goldman Sachs' share price is down 25% this year. BAML's is down 30%. JPMorgan's is down...9%.
2) The jobs
Other banks appear to have overstretched themselves in recent years and are now busy cutting jobs. However, JPMorgan is still hiring. It hired another 1,222 people in the second quarter and Jamie Dimon ruled out "large scale job cuts."
JPMorgan's cost base in the investment bank looks sustainable. In 2Q11 it was 59%, down from 71% in 2Q10.
3) The compensation
Compensation per head for the first half of 2011 in JPMorgan's investment bank stands at $211k, down only 5% on last year. With an emerging consensus that compensation this year is likely to be down 10-15%, this doesn't look bad.
4) The business
JPMorgan's investment bank is mostly thriving. Citigroup analyst Keith Horowitz had predicted a 30% fall in fixed income revenues in the second quarter, JPMorgan's fell - but only by 18%.
The investment bank has performed well in the first six months as a whole. Compared to the first six months of 2010, both fixed income and equities trading revenues are up 5% in difficult markets, ECM revenues are up 9%, DCM revenues are up 29% and M&A revenues are up a massive 56%.
As predicted by Morgan Stanley and Oliver, JPMorgan appears to be reaping the benefits of its status as a 'flow monster.' In yesterday's conference call Jamie Dimon said that "flows had been good" and that, all the markets businesses continued to have pretty good flow from clients. Markets revenues increased even while trading VaR fell 19% year on year.
And despite predictions that return on equity in investment banks will fall, JPMorgan's was 21% in the second quarter, up from 14% in the second quarter in 2010.
5) The future
Jamie Dimon doesn't deny that the future could be difficult. In yesterday's call he said JPMorgan has $15bn of exposure to Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. More worryingly, he warned in no uncertain terms about the dangers of a US sovereign debt default, pointing out that it would:
...cut across intraday lines, revolvers, take down revolvers, money market funds, securities lending. Something like $3 trillion or $4 trillion of treasuries are used collateral around the world. It would change the pricing of securities. Some buyers, some owners will be forced to sell because they are not allowed to own defaulted securities.
In the event of another US-originating global financial crisis, JPMorgan would suffer significantly - not least because it's one of the biggest players in the CDS market. However, in the event of a mere European meltdown Dimon said yesterday that JPMorgan will be fine and that its exposures would only cost it $3bn in the worst case scenario.
6) Jamie Dimon
Jamie Dimon has been at JPMorgan for ten years. At some point, he will step down. When this happens, he may become US Treasury Secretary. This sort of thing used to happen to former Goldman Sachs bankers. In future, it probably won't.