Third-quarter earnings season just ended for the biggest U.S. banks, whose results were—let’s call them adequate.

There is a lot to like about the banks: They were unbowed by the Covid pandemic, due to their strong balance sheets and diverse business mix. In the third quarter, the biggest banks released back into earnings more than $6 billion they had reserved against potentially bad loans last year. That followed sizable reserve releases in previous quarters. Advisory revenue, a source of strength since the second half of…

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