Wednesday, January 12, 2011
There are few bloggers on the right or left who stand up for business, even big business, as resolutely as I do, and even fewer who have anything good to say about Goldman Sachs, a firm I rather admire. But even I don't believe this.
Goldman is starting to spin its compliance with the Volcker Rule which was included in the Dodd-Frank Act to prohibit banks from proprietary trading. But it can be hard to distinguish what's "proprietary" from what's "incidental to client-driven trading." Cynics say that today's Goldman only puts up with clients to make it a better proprietary trader, and that the Volcker Rule will only prove a temporary speedbump. YMMV.
Goldman proudly flew the pirate I-Bank flag until the events of 2008 drove it to seek the shelter of the Federal Reserve's safe harbor. Cynics say it will stay play pirate by acting like a hedge fund in banking drag, the Volcker Rule notwithstanding. YMMV.
Don't get mad, get even! Goldman is only trading at about 1.1x book value, normally it should be well over 2.0x. Except for Morgan Stanley, it's the other Big Banks that have the Big Put mortgage exposure. I say GS is a screaming speculative BUY. What am I missing?