We're In a Pandemic, the Worst In a Century. People Are Hurting. Governments Struggle to Help. Even Our Banks are Struggling...

If you're a small business owner, you're probably in trouble. If you work for that small business owner or the hundreds of thousands of others, your job may be gone or in peril. But, hey, do we ever give a thought for the banks? Do we even care about their troubles? Or are we so selfish we can only think of ourselves?

Some analysts expect banks’ earnings per share to be 5 per cent to 8 per cent lower in the three months ended Jan. 31, compared with the same period a year ago – before the pandemic arrived in Canada. But profits are likely to stabilize at levels similar to those of the last fiscal quarter of 2020, which ended Oct. 31.

Many investors are ready to look past those numbers and are eager to parse bank executives’ comments regarding the prospects for economic recovery in the United States and Canada – specifically, how soon the banks’ lending activities and fees will rebound. They also want to know how banks plan to deploy billions of dollars of excess capital built up under restrictions on dividend increases and share buybacks imposed by the federal banking regulator.

The banks, it seems, have a liquidity problem. They're up to their alligators in cash, "billions of dollars of excess capital." Don't you think your average Ma & Pa corner store wished they had that sort of problem?


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