According to Morgan Stanley the biggest banks in the US are now sitting on more than $120bn of “excess” equity capital. Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman is quoted as saying “Probably left to our own devices, we wouldn’t hold as much capital as we’re holding,”. Large buybacks and dividends could be on the way under Trump administration
There are still plenty of question marks over how much capital the banks could be allowed to return in coming years. Analysts say that much depends on how long Dan Tarullo, the lead supervisor at the Fed and a long-time nemesis of the big banks, remains in his position. His term runs until 2022 but some expect him to stand down soon to make way for a permanent appointee to a job he has been doing on an interim basis.