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FX news: Goldman makes the most of FX

Our rummage through the quarterly earnings reports of the US banks shows, with one exception, less money made out of FX in this quarter than the last. This isn’t a surprise, the European sovereign debt crisis (whatever happened to that?) of the second quarter was a godsend for volatility and volumes; the third quarter, while it ended with a flourish, was more noted for the depth of the summer slumber.

Goldman Sachs again reported the highest number – not by very much – and its figure of $3.766 billion is for fixed income, currencies and commodities, which makes it difficult to compare with those banks where FX is part of fixed income alone.

Anyway, the figure is a decline from $4.396 billion in the second quarter and a bigger drop from the $5.991 billion reported for the halcyon days of Q3 ’09. Goldman says the result reflects “a challenging environment during the quarter, as activity levels were significantly lower compared with the third quarter of 2009. The decrease in net revenues compared with the third quarter of 2009 reflected lower results in each of FICC’s major businesses, including significantly lower net revenues in interest rate products and credit products.”

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