In Case You Missed it: 2013 in Financials

Jacob Harper  |

The last several years have been, shall we say, interesting for the Financial sector, and 2013 was no different. In case you missed it, here were some of the biggest stories, symbolic and otherwise, to come out this year:

Regional bank M&T ($MT) surges on impressive earnings report. This small story is indicative of a turnaround in 2013 for the Financial sector, as one of the few banks to go through the 2008 crisis relatively unscathed reports a banner quarter and positive guidance. 

Is another "whale" in the works for JP Morgan Chase & Co. ($JPM)? The investment giant - who will be dogged of allegations of misdeeds for most of 2013 - is pegged after emails surface that the company was aware mortgage-backed assets they were selling were toxic.

SEC probes Goldman Sachs ($GS) dealings with Libya. The questionable trades involved the Libya Investment Authority and a $50 million payout that might have violated anti-corruption laws.

JP Morgan releases a triumphant first quarter earnings report. Despite their myriad legal troubles, JP Morgan remains wildly profitable, and reports a 33 percent surge in profits. Considered a bellwether in mega-cap Financial, the report solidifies a general optimistic outlook for Financial in 2013.

Berkshire Hathaway ($BRK-A) buys Israeli metalworks company for $2 billion. Never one to shy from diverse investments, the Warren Buffett-helmed Berkshire makes a major acquisition by spending $2 billion to buy the remaining 20 percent of Iscar. The complete total of the buyout comes to over $7 billion.

Investors Cash out $4 Billion from SAC Capital. Amidst a massive insider trading scandal that went all the way to the top of hedge fund SAC Capital, panicked investors begin pulling out their money to distance themselves from the beleagured company.

Fannie Mae ($FNMA) and Freddie Mac ($FMHC) are wildly profitable, but that probably won't save them. Even though the two government-stewarded mortgage providers truly turn around their repsective companies, public scorn will keep them from ever once again returning to the free market unfettered.

UBS ($UBS) pops on mortgage-backed security settlement. As the Financial sector continues to put the global meltdown behind them, shares of UBS gap on news of a settlement with the US Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Citigroup ($C) settles with disgruntled investors to the tune of $590 million. Another major investment bank attempts to put the ugly past behind them with a major settlement with investors after the company admitted they had hid billions in toxic investments from stockholders.

Raghuram Rajan installed as head of India's Reserve Bank. One of the biggest developing markets in the world tries to halt financial catastrophe by installing "rock star" economist Rajan as head of their central bank. Rajan plans broad sweeping reofrms meant to modernize the country's financial system.

Janet Yellen named Fed Chief. Yellen is a well-respected choice, and is widely considered a "dove" who takes a favorable view of quantitative easing. Yellen's ascension makes her the first female head of the Federal Reserve in its history.

The Vatican releases first-ever earnings report. For the first time in its 126-year history, the central bank of the Vatican opts to open up their books to public scrutiny. The move is part of a wide range of reforms undertaken by the Holy See in response to the Church's damaged reputation.'

AIG Insurance ($AIG) sells jet-leasing business for $4.2 billion. In another symolbic story, perhaps the most signifcant player in the 2008 financial crisis sheds a major asset they had been attempting to sell for five years, injecting cash into the company and slowly but surely returning value to beleagured stockholders.

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