Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Goldman Disappears December

Gone. Vanished. Kaput. That's what the boy (and girl) wonders at Goldman did to the month of December - they disappeared it Pablo Escobar-style. Via Floyd Norris, we learn that when Goldman Sachs switched from being an investment bank to a bank holding company, it changed its fiscal year from beginning in December to January. So its Q4 2008 earnings go through November 30, 2008, and its Q1 2009 earnings begin on January 1, 2009.

What happened in December then? Write-downs. Lots of write-downs. Over a billion dollars worth, pre-tax. So much for that $1.8 billion first quarter profit. But now we know why they pay them the big bucks. They turn financial chicanery into an art.

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