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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Look no further than the flood of bank earnings out today for evidence the pandemic crisis is long over on Wall Street.

Why it matters: Banks are riding high — helped by wild activity in deals and the stock market — as the worst of the pandemic's economic impact sits in the rearview mirror.

The clearest sign: Banks set aside billions of dollars' worth of rainy day funds for potential bad loans when COVID-19 hit.

  • They were too pessimistic. Now that money is going back in the coffers at the quickest pace yet at JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.

At Goldman Sachs: Average balances in its prime brokerage business — the one that services hedge funds and worked with the now blown-up Archegos Capital — hit a record high.

At JPMorgan: "We're buying back stock because our cup runneth over. ... We're holding a tremendous amount of money and we really have no option right now," CEO Jamie Dimon told analysts today.

Catch up quick … 

  • Investment banking boomed, helped by the SPAC-a-palooza. Here JPMorgan raked in record fees, while Goldman's revenue exceeded expectations by $1 billion.
  • Trading desks soared on the back of the market mania. Goldman says revenue here jumped almost 50% from a year earlier.
  • Consumer-related segments were also strong. Spending across JPMorgan’s consumer business — like on its debit cards — returned to pre-pandemic levels. It’s a similar story at Wells Fargo. 

What to watch: Businesses and consumers are still taking out loans at a snail's pace. Loans fell 4% from a year earlier at JPMorgan. Wells Fargo called out tepid loan demand and low-interest rates as a headwind.

What’s happening: Cash (for some) is plentiful, creating less demand. Others might still be too skittish about what’s ahead to take on more debt.

  • “We’re gonna know when the crisis is over when people start borrowing again and when that borrowing ends up showing up in loans,” Jesse Rosenthal, a bank analyst at CreditSights, tells Axios.

What's next: More from big banks.

  • Bank of America and Citigroup earnings are on deck Thursday, followed by Morgan Stanley on Friday.

Go deeper

What to watch as Wall Street prepares for blockbuster Coinbase listing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cryptocurrency will come to Wall Street like never before when Coinbase becomes a publicly-traded company on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The listing could value the company at upwards of $100 billion.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these recommendations with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.