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AP/Mark Lennihan
A head scratcher for Lloyd.

Even Goldman Sachs can’t get the bond markets right

By Shelly Banjo

From our Obsession

Future of Finance

New technology is upending everything in finance.

Goldman Sachs posted fourth-quarter results today.

The numbers: Goldman said profit fell 7.1% to $2.17 billion in the fourth quarter from $2.3 billion the year before. Revenue also fell 12% to $7.69 billion.

The takeaway: Goldman couldn’t escape the pain that has beset the big American banks from falling trading revenue, which makes up a large part of Goldman’s business. Trading revenue from fixed income, currencies and commodities, which fell 29% at Goldman from the year before to $1.22 billion. (JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup all saw similar bond-trading slumps.) Big drops in revenue from debt and equity underwriting, as well as lending, didn’t help either.

What’s interesting: Goldman continues to rule the roost in M&A, which helped boost its financial advisory revenues by 18% to $692 million, the highest level since 2008. The bank said it has a healthy backlog of deals to work through this year as the M&A pipeline remains solid.

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