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Goldman’s equity earnings suffer a big hit

Investment banking

Don't hold your breath waiting for greater transparency in accounting. Especially if you invest in the financial services sector where secrecy still reigns supreme. It's the same at most firms, but take Goldman Sachs as an example. Look at its first-quarter earnings and see what it reveals about its equities income.

Net revenues in the first quarter of 2002 for this part of the firm were $105 million. That's 76% less than the 2001 fourth-quarter figure of $435 million and 96% less than the $1.18 billion it brought in during the first quarter of 2001.

It has been a terrible few months for the equities business. Volatility was way down, and the lack of M&A announcements hit the equity arbitrage trading side of the business.


View graph.

But there was also a small matter of "the negative effect of a single block trade".