Goldman, Morgan Stanley Most Correlated to Europe
NEW YORK (TheStreet)--Goldman Sachs(GS) and Morgan Stanley(MS) stock prices have shown the highest correlation to a sample of large European banks among U.S.-based financial institutions in 2012, according to a report published Friday by BernsteinResearch.
Goldman Sachs has a 91% average stock price correlation with European banks while Morgan Stanley's correlation averages 90%, according to an analysis by Bernstein's Brad Hintz based on Bloomberg data. That compares to an 86% correlation for Citigroup(C) , a 71% correlation for Bank of America(BAC) and a 70% correlation for JPMorgan Chase(JPM) . Hintz included four banks in his European sample: UBS(UBS) , Deutsche Bank (DB) , Credit Suisse(CS) and Barclays (BCS) .
The high correlation of Morgan Stanley and Goldman to Europe relative to other U.S. institutions is in some respects surprising, given, for example, that JPMorgan shows much higher credit default swaps exposure to countries on the European periphery: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.
However, Hintz points to the 2008-2009 crisis, when "investors worldwide were shocked to realize that the major capital markets banks around the world were tightly linked together through their over the counter derivatives books."
Further lessons from the crisis, Hintz contends, were that "liquid markets can become illiquid, all trading positions are correlated in a tail event, hedges rely on correlations or assumptions of liquidity that may be lacking in a crisis, all short term funding is suspect and even secured short term funding can fail, and only common equity has value."
The sum of all of these lessons, according to Hintz, is that "Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs face investor skepticism that is difficult to overcome in today's uncertain geopolitical environments."
Referring to Morgan Stanley and Goldman as "honorary European banks," Hintz observes that "needless to say this is an 'award' that
-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.
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