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Fed chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Federal Reserve via Getty Images

Tuesday's earnings reports showed how banks have reaped the rewards of the Federal Reserve's efforts to carpet bomb markets with liquidity since March.

What happened: JPMorgan's fixed-income trading revenue jumped 99% in the quarter, while fixed-income trading revenue climbed nearly 60% at Citi during the quarter.

  • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are expected to continue the bond trading bonanza when they report earnings later this week.
  • Wells Fargo's numbers lagged but it has a smaller investment bank and has trailed other banks since its fake account scandal in 2016.

Flashback: The Fed's entrance into the market with the announcement of QEinfinity and its plan to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars worth of corporate bonds led to an unprecedented surge in debt issuance.

  • "The Fed came in with its massive bazooka, addressed the liquidity concerns and it’s gone from a buyer’s market to seller’s market," Mike Collins, senior portfolio manager at Prudential's PGIM Fixed Income, told me in April.
  • "You couldn’t sell a bond before, today you can’t buy a bond."

Catch up quick: "Fees for underwriting blue-chip U.S. company bonds in the first half of the year essentially doubled to more than $7 billion," Bloomberg reported Monday.

  • U.S. companies already have issued more than $1 trillion of investment-grade bonds in just a few months, with the proceeds helping buoy the banks despite putting aside billions for future loan losses.

What to watch: Citi, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo set aside a combined $28 billion in Q2, FT notes, even more than they put aside in Q1 as the coronavirus pandemic first began wreaking havoc on markets.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 22, 2020 - Technology

Intel shares drop sharply despite mostly solid earnings report

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of Intel fell as much 10% in after-hours trading Thursday — after the company posted quarterly revenue and earnings generally in line with expectations.

Why it matters: The chip giant is a bellwether for the PC industry, and small signs of weakness may be playing an outsize role in spooking investors.

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
54 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.