Goldman Revamp Puts Dec. Losses Off Books
Calendar Shift Left 1 Month Unreported
By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 15, 2009; A15
December was a disastrous month for Goldman Sachs, producing a loss of $780 million, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the company’s bottom line for the last quarter of 2008 — or the first quarter of 2009.
December fell through the cracks as the big investment-banking firm moved from a fiscal year ending in November to a fiscal year beginning in January. Billions of dollars of write-downs in the value of commercial real estate loans and other assets showed up in neither period.
The result was that Goldman was able to report a first-quarter profit of $1.81 billion Monday, just as it was gearing up to raise $5 billion from investors yesterday through a new stock offering.
The $1.81 billion profit, in turn, helped Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, offer a positive view of the company’s performance in a Monday news release.
How nice for Lloyd, how convenient for the IPO, how very, very disingenuous and borderline fraudulent to carry the December results (stuffed to the gills with losses) on a separate page.
Amazing that the headline “Goldman reports $1.8 billion profit,” trumpeted by Fortune Magazine, somehow found it convenient to neglect that fact when it reported GS ‘bouncing back‘ from its worst quarter in history.