What a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time, JPMorgan Chase & Co. offset losses generated by struggling retail customers with profits from securities trading. Now it is the ordinary folks who are helping make up for declining profits from classic Wall Street businesses.
JPMorgan, a giant commercial bank as well as a large securities brokerage and investment bank, said Friday that it earned $4.86 billion, or $1.12 a share, in the fourth quarter, up 47% from a year earlier. Its profit for all of 2010 was $17.4 billion, up 48% from 2009.
In a conference call with analysts, the company's chief executive, Jamie Dimon, cited "a continued improvement on credit as well as the improvement in the economic environment."