With the fiscal cliff approaching, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan would rather not see his bank, or its millions of clients, fall over the edge.
At a conference hosted by the bank earlier today, Moynihan discussed a variety of issues, but he made news for his comments on the fiscal cliff, the looming deadline for Congress and the president to reach an agreement preventing a multitude of tax hikes and budget cuts. According to Moynihan, the uncertainty presented by the fiscal cliff "continues to hold back the recovery," as well as confounding the bank's clients, who would like more clarification on the direction of this issue before deciding on investments.
Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) Lloyd Blankfein also spoke at the conference, indicating that the market will continue to swing until a resolution is reached, but indicated that he believes there will be some sort of agreement prior to the end of the year. With the reelection of President Obama now a full week behind us, the next focus will be on the pending negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff, an issue that was all but forgotten in the weeks leading up to the election. The markets, always wary of uncertainty, have continued to be mixed since the election, with concerns about Europe thrown in to the discussion about the fiscal cliff.
It wasn't all about the cliff
Moynihan also spent part of his remarks discussing what Bank of America has been doing to streamline its business over the past few years. In his nearly three years as CEO, the bank has shed more than $60 billion in non-core assets and businesses. It has also reduced its mortgage servicing portfolio from 12 million loans to its current portfolio of around 8 million loans, with plans of reaching 6 million. Both actions are steps in the right direction and further strengthen the bank going forward, perhaps even leading to an increased dividend in the future.