The Olde Gods Of Goldman Reassert Themselves - Dealbreaker

David Solomon has made clear that he’d like to change everything about the way Goldman Sachs operates. Main Street, transparency, hip Silicon Valley investments are in. Secrecy and traders are out.

As with any such journey, there are detours and bumps in the road shaped. The coronavirus-induced shutdown of the economy (which D.J. D-Sol has to help figure out an end to) is one. And while Solomon navigates them, he has to do so in the knowledge that the only reason his bank looks more like Bank of America and Citigroup and less like Wells Fargo is because of all of those people he’s been marginalizing and firing.

Its investment portfolio—the equities and debt securities it holds—took an $868 million loss. Investors have long questioned that segment, criticizing it as opaque and unpredictable, and Goldman proved unable to avoid the bloodshed in markets, which swung wildly during the quarter…. Goldman’s trading revenue rose 28% to $5.16 billion. Its fixed-income traders, who deal in everything from bonds to commodities to interest-rate products, had their best quarter in five years. Groups that help clients wager and manage volatility in asset prices flourished, too.

Goldman has been easing up on the big bets that once drove its trading profits, lowering the risk and size of its securities inventory. That proved lucky as the pandemic hit, Mr. Scherr said, leaving Goldman freer to jump into the market.

Goldman Braces for Loan Losses, But Its Wall Street Arm Shines [WSJ]
Bank of America posts 45% decline in first-quarter profit, braces for big loan losses [CNBC]
Citigroup Profit Slides 46% Amid Coronavirus Fallout [WSJ]

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