Despite positive earnings reports across the financial industry, New York City's economy hasn't been doing as well.
New York’s banks and investment firms are doing great. New York’s economy, not so much.
Usually, the two move in tandem. This odd “decoupling” is yet another ominous sign for Gotham’s future and yet another headache for the incoming mayor.
Last week, the city’s biggest banks released their earnings — and everything (or almost everything) was wonderful. JPMorgan Chase’s quarterly profit rose by nearly a quarter, to $11.7 billion. Citigroup made $4.6 billion, a 48 percent increase. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America — all did well.
You might think that’s because last year was such a disaster. But it wasn’t. Thanks to record federal aid to families and small businesses, people stayed current on their bills and kept spending. Thanks to cheap interest rates, companies kept borrowing money to merge with other companies. As state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said of 2020, “Wall Street’s near-record year shattered all expectations.”
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