Commentaries

Derivatives league table

June 26, 2009

Goldman Sachs is moving up the derivatives charts—with a bullet.

In the latest ranking of US banks with large derivatives exposure, Goldman moves up from fourth place to second, according a report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currencey. The notional value of Goldman’s derivatives contracts at the end of the first quarter was $39.9 trillion, up from $30.2 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Goldman’s derivatives puzzle

June 25, 2009

Earlier today I posted an item saying that Goldman Sachs is hard as ever to figure out, based on the kind of information (or lack thereof) that it publishes about its operations.  I focused on a little-known Goldman real estate management company called Archon Group.

No fix for the derivatives monster

June 17, 2009

It’s still not clear if the Obama administration has a plan for dealing with the derivatives monster, which is one of the biggest problems regulators must confront in dealing with the potential collpase of a “too big to fail” financial institution.

Et tu Schwab?

June 12, 2009

Discount brokerage Charles Schwab may be facing a Lehman-sized headache.

It appears some Schwab brokers were actively selling so-called structured notes–derivative-like investments–that were issued by the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers. The structured notes were pitched as principal protected, meaning investors might not make a lot of money if a strategy failed, but they wouldn’t lose their initial investment either.