Thursday, October 15, 2009

Regarding Goldman Sachs Earnings "Strong":

Nothing more than JPM's bullshit redux...well, not completely redux. The revenues in business lines at Goldman that DON'T benefit from mark-to-fantasy accounting were weaker , both year over year and 2nd qtr to 3rd qtr:

Looking at Q2 to Q3: Investment Banking -38%, Asset Management -6%, Trading and Principal Investments -7%.   So where did they make this record profit you ask?  Their FICC, or Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities unit generated all the profits, paper profits that is

Let's break it down from their press release:   Net revenues in FICC were $5.99 billion, significantly higher than the third quarter of 2008. These results reflected strong performances in credit products and mortgages, which were significantly higher compared with a difficult third quarter of 2008.  Credit products and mortgages are GAAP-speak for "securities we hold, we can't sell, but we can mark them up to whatever profit number we want to report to make big bonuses."  Notice the comparision to Q3 '08, which was when all these positions were marked down drastically.  Now they are marking them back up and reporting the paper gains.

There's more:  "Net revenues in Equities were $2.78 billion, 78% higher than the third quarter of 2008. These results reflected strong net revenues in derivatives, which were significantly higher than the third quarter of 2008."  Same deal here.  Marking up illiquid derivatives positions on a mark-to-fantasy basis, reporting the paper gains as fabulous net income, and paying them selves fabulous cash bonuses using cash that was funnelled thru to Goldman from the Treasury and the Fed via AIG.  It's that simple.

Both JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have generated massive paper profits which will translate into cash bonuses for the employees.  This is grand theft in front of the world, with the cheerleaders on CNBC and Bloomberg happily waving their pom-poms, while the rest of the country suffers the consequences of policies implemented by Bernanke and Obama which are hijacking the nation's wealth and giving it to Wall Street.

What you might have missed in all of the hoopla in the media is that housing foreclosures hit a new record high in the third quarter, the Philly Fed Index plunged 21% from the September reading (the unemployment component fell from 14.3 to -6.8) and credit card charge-offs at Capital One, the poster-child of subprime credit card lending, soared in September.

Did JPM and GS really earn all the money, or was simply shifted from taxpayers to the bankers?  Barack, what do you have to say about this, without a teleprompter or help from Rahm Emanuel?


  1. I heard his response went something like this:

  2. They may be paper profits, but that won't stop GS from paying huge bonuses to itself. What happened to all the talk of reining in greed at the top?

  3. Dave,
    Great take. I wish bank earnings were clear enough that even i could read them, but I only have a few hours a day to spare!

    Fleckenstein had agreat article up on the 12th, and the iTulip piece by Janszen "The Game - Part I: Queen of Hearts" is pretty good too.

    Of course we of the gold mindset are crazy anyway.

  4. gyc: black helicopters LOL

    the problem is that bank earnings are intentionally opaque. GS didn't even release a balance sheet yet. We won't see the b/s and the statement of cash flows until they file a 10Q (4-6 weeks) and by then everyone will have forgotten what fraud GS is.

    and even going thru the footnotes doesn't help much because there is a lot of "crap" like CDS positions that are embedded in their off-balance-sheet asset accounts.

    I would be both of my family jewels that GS, on a true mark to market basis, is technically insolvent. Same with JPM.

  5. While I am terribly disappointed with fiscal policy and actions of the Obama Administration we should remember that these policies have a clear history through the Bush/Cheney and Clinton Administrations.

  6. @Anonymous: completely agree. The Govt has become politically agnostic. It answers to Wall Street, not the people

  7. Dave, FICC has always been GS's biggest source of income. They seem to have their way with "interest rate products", which I suspect is just interest rate swaps. If that is the case, the revenue might be "legit" as GS probably has positioned itself as "pay float, receive fixed" in the run up to the $147 oil fiasco last summer. Everyone else bet central banks to raise interest rate but they probably did the opposite to profit from those "interest rate products" now. That also means most banks are "screwed" as they are likely to be other the other end of the "deal" as interest rate swaps are a zero sum game.