Thijs Knaap at BNR about the good figures of banks and the 'Magnificent 7'

Published on: 18 July 2023

The first major American banks published their quarterly figures last Friday, and Thijs Knaap was not disappointed. That was what APG's chief economist said during the investor panel of BNR Zakendoen. "In the first quarter we had a small banking crisis in the US, which mainly affected the regional banks. Banks such as JPMorgan and Citigroup, which released their figures on Friday, are coping well with rising interest rates, are not collapsing and have even become larger. Customers took their money away from the small banks and put it on an account at one of the big ones."

According to Knaap, expectations about the figures were not very high. The fact that they are not so bad is therefore good news. "Admittedly, the figures themselves say little about how for instance manufacturing output or the Chinese economy are doing, but it is still an important economic condition. If the banks do not do well, an economic crisis atmosphere will arise."

Another topic that was discussed was the good investment results of the past six months. This may be due to the fact that the current economic headwinds, such as the interest rate hikes of central banks and the energy crisis, are simply not so strong and the economy is moving forward on its own, according to Knaap. "A second reason could be AI. That seems to be at least partly correct, because if you look at where the rising stock prices of the first half of the year comes from, about 8 out of 13 percent is accounted for by the 'Magnificent 7', the seven largest AI companies (including Apple, Microsoft and Tesla, ed.). As a third reason, fellow panelist Mary Pieterse-Bloem (Head of Investment Office at Rabobank) cites the great confidence that equity investors have "that central banks can walk the very narrow path of interest rate hikes to curb inflation without pushing the economy into an economic recession."

The full broadcast of the BNR Investor Panel can be found here (in Dutch).