May 2, 2022
Goldman Traders’ Streak of $100 Million Days Hits 11-Year High
(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said its traders cracked the $100 million mark at least once every other day in the first quarter, offering another glimpse into an extraordinary run through markets disrupted by war and unpredictable central bank actions.
The firm’s trading division clocked more than $100 million in revenue on 32 separate days, the bank said in a regulatory filing Monday, or just over half the total trading days in the three months through March. The run was the best since the first quarter of 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The past two years have presented a change in fortunes for trading desks that had previously faced the risk of further culling. Regulatory curbs and efforts to automate trading were whittling away opportunities to make outsized gains, pressuring executives to trim down the operations.
That changed with the onset of the pandemic, which offered record money-making avenues. Now, investors are at once weighing the fallout from war, central bank actions to tame inflation and the still lingering effects from the spread of Covid-19. And bank desks have been able to jump in to profit. Goldman led the pack of big banks in defying slowdown expectations last quarter. Its traders pounced on dislocations across commodities, currencies and other markets that became more acute with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
One measure of that: It took only three months of 2022 for Goldman to score as many $100 million days as it did in the three years before the pandemic.
Goldman reported $7.9 billion of revenue in the first quarter from trading, representing 61% of its total revenue. Traders at the New York-based firm have helped pick up the slack from other parts of the business, such as asset management, which foundered among dropping markets. The bank still makes a majority of the money in asset management from its own capital, with fees only making up a small portion of the business line.
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