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Opinion
Elisa Martinuzzi

If JPMorgan Is Hurting, What Hope for Europe?

The U.S. bank’s warning should make its sickly counterparts in Europe shudder.

Traders in Europe.

Traders in Europe.

Photographer: Hannelore Foerster

It’s shaping up to be another tough quarter for securities firms, the world’s biggest trading house has warned. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s grim assessment of market conditions this year is more than a stark reminder that the wallet keeps shrinking.

The U.S. firm warned this week that it expects trading revenue to shrink by a low-teens percentage in the first quarter, even as it has been taking business away from competitors. For those European firms reeling from losses or in the midst of reorganizations – lenders like BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and Deutsche Bank AG – a further contraction in the revenue pool will be, at best, an unwelcome complication.