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Comptroller: Wall Street profits may slow

ALBANY — Though Wall Street recorded $10.1 billion in profits for the first half of 2013, New York’s comptroller said Tuesday that federal budget dithering, higher interest rates and litigation may slow earnings for the last half in a securities industry that’s kept trimming jobs.

In a report, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli projected that overall earnings will be limited to $15 billion this year, compared with $23.9 billion last year, but still part of the rebound from the 2008 crash of the financial markets and the national recession. “Five years after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Wall Street has made an impressive comeback,” the report said.

“The political gridlock in Washington may take a bite out of the security industry’s profits for the fourth quarter,” DiNapoli said. “Washington’s inability to resolve budget and fiscal issues is bad for business.”

The 16-day partial federal government shutdown ended last week, but a possible repeat may be on the horizon. Lawmakers approved a budget that keeps the lights on through Jan. 15 and lets the Treasury Department continue to pay its bills through Feb. 7.