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April 22, 2014

As Goldman glister fades restoring brilliance is tough

“Goldman Sachs remained a partnership long after its rivals went public. When it finally took the plunge, in 1999, it revealed almost absurd levels of profitability: returns on equity of more than 40 per cent in some years, twice as high as its rivals.

“A decade later, under chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman avoided the fate of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. Call it superior risk management. Credit the “big short” that Goldman placed on the mortgage market. Or lay it on Goldman’s unofficial motto to be “long-term greedy”.

“Surviving the crisis and then immediately thriving was the crowning glory of an investment bank that has inspired more respect, envy, fear and loathing than any other.

“But over the past few quarters something strange has happened: Goldman is starting to look unexceptional.”

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Read full Financial Times article here.

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