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The big beasts of American banking rumble on

AMERICA’S BANKS ended 2018 as stockmarket pariahs. For a year or more after Donald Trump was elected president, their shares had been borne aloft by looser regulation, tax cuts and rising interest rates. But investors began to fret that those forces were fading, the long economic expansion would soon end and banks’ profitability was therefore at its peak. In the last four months of last year some lenders’ stocks dropped by 20%-plus, far more than the S&P 500’s 13.6%. The result was “recession prices without a recession”, according to Mike Mayo, an analyst at Wells Fargo.
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