Commentaries

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Bank of Goldman

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Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs and banker-in-chief of the US/world, didn’t disappoint as his investment firm once again proved that it’s second to none on Wall Street when it comes to printing money and profits.

By now you know the headline news that Goldman generated blowout second-quarter earnings on record net revenues of $13.8 billion. Net revenues from trading and principal investments were $10.78 billion, up 93% from the year ago period.

Remember that trading code theft case with Sergey Aleynikov? No worries here.

The firm exceeded even the most widely optimistic analyst forecasts and demonstrated that the financial crisis, which pushed Goldman’s stock down to $51 last November is a distant memory–for Goldman at least. BTW, Goldman’s stock is now trading around $150. Talk about stock appreciation.

And it looks like maybe Goldman will be able to pay those fat year-end bonuses afterall. In the quarter, compensation and benefits expenses were $6.65 billion. That amount is higher than the second-quarter of 2008 because of higher net revenues. Fatter Goldman bonsues will make all those luxury real estate brokers in Manhattan happy.

Pandit buys time with Citi reshuffle

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– Peter Thal Larsen is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

Notch up a win for Sheila Bair. It’s hard to see the latest management shake-up at Citigroup as anything other than an attempt to placate the combative chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Stop the Wall Street pay stories

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OK. I know it’s probably too hard for an editor to resist running out another story on excessive Wall Street pay–especially on the day when you know the US government is going to release another set of ugly jobs numbers.

So it doesn’t really surprise me to see a story in The Wall Street Journal about “big pay packages” at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Populist outrage sells papers.

Cut out the carbon middleman

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The opposition by the Republicans to the idea of carbon trading is a bit baffling, given that it is a classic Wall Street-driven solution for dealing with a serious problem.

Sure, carbon trading, which is the centerpiece of the Obama administration-backed American Clean Energy and Security Act, would carry a cost for consumers and companies that emit too much in greenhouse gases. But the economic impact of the bill’s so-called cap-and-trade scheme would be modest — costing the average household $175 a year in added expenses, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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