ResearchThree Things (5/3)

Three Things (5/3)

May 3, 2023

"Most decisions are not binary, and there are usually better answers waiting to be found if you do the analysis and involve the right people." – Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan

First Republic falls

As anticipated, the teetering First Republic Bank was seized by the FDIC after losing $100 billion in deposits since March. JP Morgan won the competitive bidding process to purchase most of the bank’s deposits and assets. Renewed fears over the health of the banking system caused a steep selloff in regional banks on Tuesday, led by PacWest Bank, which fell as much as 35%

"There are only so many banks that were offsides this way," JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said. "There may be another smaller one, but this pretty much resolves them all.” Although Jamie said it with conviction, it’s not so clear to us that confidence in the banking system has been restored.

Better contracts or no content

As labor contract negotiations escalate in Hollywood, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) gathered outside studios in New York and LA on Tuesday after announcing a strike. Interestingly, the WGA’s proposal laid out their intention to “regulate the use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies.”

Writers undoubtedly will be under pressure to prove their worth compared to Large Language Models (LLMs) over the coming years. For now, though, we’ll be watching reruns of The Tonight Show, waiting for the two parties to come to terms.

The labor market slows further

Job openings slowed to their lowest level since April 2021 this past month, representing the third consecutive month that jobs have fallen. The latest data also shows that layoffs jumped by approximately 250,000, the highest level since December 2020. A year after the Fed began increasing rates to combat inflation, the demand for workers is cooling.

With the FOMC meeting taking place today, investors are anxious about the outcome. Though an additional 25 basis point hike is widely expected, the focus will be on any hints of what's to come next. Hopefully, the slowed job growth — a key indicator — is an encouraging sign to the Fed that they can ease up on the gas pedal.

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