Goldman Sachs' slump prompts calls for reinvention

This article is more than 12 months old

NEW YORK A slump in Goldman Sachs' long-dominant trading business has sharpened questions about the Wall Street kingpin's strategy as technological change disrupts the finance industry.

"Goldman Sachs has run out of steam," said Mr Richard Bove, analyst at Vertical Research. "It needs inspiration. It needs new management, new businesses, new activities."

Goldman's travails are something of a surprise given its unparalleled prestige in American finance.

Long associated with the super rich and powerful, Goldman Sachs has been involved in complex and sometimes controversial transactions and dealings.

Its global alumni includes European Central Bank head Mario Draghi and several current White House officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn.

Mr Gregori Volokhine, president of Meeschaert Capital markets, said the 148-year-old firm "must be reinvented".

Goldman reported an unprecedented 40 per cent plunge in revenues for trading in fixed income, commodities and currencies (FICC) in the second quarter, a performance that lagged that of rivals JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

FICC has long been a key profit centre at Goldman.

But since the 2008 financial crisis, the role of trading desks has eroded as powerful automated trading algorithms have gobbled up more transactions and more investors have embraced exchange traded funds which have lower costs. - AFP

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