Behold The Parade Of Shame Emanating From Steinhoff International’s Bedroom

Everyone got involved with the South African mattress company, and everyone is seriously regretting it.
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Corey Coyle [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Corey Coyle [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

First it was JPMorgan Chase, rolling off of Steinhoff International’s mattress with a massive $273 million hangover. Then it was Citigroup, which admittedly felt less itching and burning on account of its $370 million worth of Steinhoff write-downs on account of having bludgeoned itself in the head with a $22 billion tax-related write off. And then, with more than a twinge of shame, Brian Moynihan stumbled out $292 million lighter on his way to lecture the kids about the dangers of crypto-promiscuity, but with the hypocrisy assuaged by the fact that his bank still managed to turn a profit in spite of Steinhoff and a $2.9 billion tax charge.

And then, finally, the mightiest fell. Even Goldman Sachs had been taken in by Steinhoff’s charms. But that, my friends, wasn’t even the worst of it, for when Goldman finally got home to 200 West Street and looked in the mirror, it hardly recognized itself.

The Wall Street on Wednesday firm reported its first quarterly loss since 2011. It was the result of a one-time $4.4 billion charge stemming from the new tax law. But even ignoring that unusual event, Goldman’s weak core results showed how far the firm has fallen.

Revenue in its business of buying and selling bonds, commodities and currencies — historically an engine of Goldman’s results — sank to $1 billion in the fourth quarter, half of what it was during the same period in 2016.

U.S. Banks Have Lost More Than $1 Billion on Steinhoff Loans [Bloomberg]
Goldman, Bank of America Join in Wall Street’s Billion-Dollar Steinhoff Disaster [WSJ]
Goldman Sachs Once Looked Invincible. Now It’s Losing Money. [NYT]
Goldman investors rattled by latest plunge in bond trading [Reuters]
BofA’s $292 Million Charge Tied to Steinhoff Turmoil [Bloomberg]
Bank of America Earnings Hurt by Tax-Related Charge [WSJ]

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