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.
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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.