How can it be in a low interest rate environment???
People push this question the time.
But JPM makes LESS than half its revenue from interest earning activities.
Yes, the firm makes even more money when rates are climbing but this is not George Bailey's bank in "It's a Wonderful Life" they have many ways to make money and they are simply great at all of them. Jaime Dimon would have it no other way.
The next myth that needs to be exploded is that this bank is "expensive" BECAUSE their Price/Tangible Book Value is higher than other banks. This is thinking backwards and representative of understanding banks back in the 1950s-1960s. Price to Book is a very useful tool to compare a bank to ITSELF not to others. Why? Because other banks have different mixes of operations. Some are domestic, some have exposure internationally, some are active in the investment banking sphere, others are not, some trade aggressively others hardly at all. The point is that you can't use that kind of metric to compare different banks with different operational structures.
JPM crushed on revenues and earnings and set aside loan reserves that far exceeded expectations which means the future will be even better (i.e. lower loan reserve allocations) in the mean time this bank has enough capital to withstand the end of the world....others? not so much.
You can read some of the WFC comments (over at /wells-fargo-and ) the last 6 months and see how people fall in love with their dividends without understanding how vulnerable that bank really was. Higher exposure to interest rates, higher efficiency ratio (lower is better), less outside revenues. Charlie may be a good manager and getting better but he isn't a Jaime Dimon, not by a long shot!