While most traders and analysts were looking through Goldman’s trading and banking results – of which the latter came in stellar while trading, especially with FICC, was not good at all…

… when the bank announced its second best quarter ever, there was also a big slide in the bank’s second quarter earnings, and it was connected to what Goldman was doing for its “asset management” book.

Goldman’s Asset Management also experienced a great quarter, giving a record $5.1BN of net revenue, over double than a year ago.

In detailing the group’s great performance, Goldman says that “equity investments gave record net revenues, with the y/y boost mostly fueled by much higher net gains from private equity investments, driven by company-linked events, including sales and capital raises, and better corporate performance versus a difficult 2020.”

The bank then goes into detail on its asset mix, which has some $21 billion in equity investments spread among certain sectors and geographies (mostly inside the US).

Which then leads us to the kicker: a chart revealing what Goldman had done with its equities this year. The bank does not mess around, they make it clear right in the title that it was “harvesting” its portfolio. Which is another term for selling.

What is even more incredible is how much Goldman harvested already this year. Having begun with a $20BN portfolio which say a $5BN increase in value, Goldman sold a large $5.5 billion of its assets so far, which is over a quarter of its whole portfolio.

The sales were so wide ranging that the issue was mentioned during the Goldman earnings call recently. In reply to a question about the company’s efforts to lower its portfolio, the bank stated that it has “made efforts on improving its capital efficiency and is seeking to ‘aggressively’ manage equities, especially given that the market is supportive.”

What does this mean in plan English? Goldman is dumping its stocks while dumb money investors give a constant bid into which Goldman can sell for a huge profit.

When was the last time Goldman “aggressively” sold? Well, you have to return to 2007 and 2008 when this happened. And we all remember how that turned out.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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