(Source: www.businessinsider.com)

In honor of Game of Thrones season 7 premiering this week, I’d like to pose a simple question to the WSO community. If the investment banks were the Houses of Westeros, which would they be?

My opinion:

Goldman Sachs/House Lannister

The “old money” in Westeros and currently crushing the league tables/ruling the seven kingdoms; despised by most of the other houses for their continued dominance and placing loyal members in key positions of government.

Morgan Stanley/House Tyrell

 Challenging the Lannisters for supremacy with equally old money and family name but alas still second best.

JP Morgan/House Targaryen

An old, powerful name that has seen significant success in recent years (post financial crises); has upended the balance of power rising to the top of league tables using a bevy of powerful new tools i.e. massive, fire-breathing dragons/balance sheets.

BAML/House Stark

Another old name (ML) whose alliance with the wildlings (BofA) has resulted in recent success through the use of powerful new tools including giants/massive balance sheets but still trying to figure out how to use new alliance to topple other ruling families/banks.

Credit Suisse/House Martell

A strong platform competing with all the other families in the seven kingdoms/USA but still something oddly foreign about them; tried to integrate by marrying into the royal family(Elia and Rhaegar)/buying First Boston but with mixed success.

Barclays/House Tully

As a result of questionable alliances i.e. marriage into Houses Stark and Arryn/purchase of Lehman’s US banking business, Barclays has seen better days.

Citi/House Arryn

Old powerful name (Saloman Bros) that has sat out most of the War of the Five Kings/financial crises wheeling and dealing to lick its wounds; now middle of the road with new leadership i.e. Peter Baelish/Michael Corbat and seeking to reassert dominance.

Deutsche/House Greyjoy

Crises of leadership in recent years i.e. step down of Jain & Fitschen/death of Balon Greyjoy along with a refusal to play by the rules i.e. manipulation of LIBOR etc./raiding and pillaging of the North has resulted in a beatdown.

UBS/House Baratheon

Oh how the mighty have fallen; Once, one of the most powerful families in Westeros, significant talent losses i.e. Robert, Stannis and Renly deaths/Blair Effron and Ken Moelis departures as well as a refusal to play by the rules i.e. forex manipulation/human sacrifices has resulted in obliteration.


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