Goldman's Big Earnings and Orphaned Losses

I have been in meetings today but want to quickly post the PDF to Goldman's first-quarter earnings report:

goldman Q1 earnings.pdf

There has been some fuss over the fact that Goldman made December -- a month in which they had huge losses -- "disappear" (Paul Krugman's word) by switching to an annual calendar from an accounting calendar that ended in November. (In other words, its 2008 fourth quarter ended in late November and its 2009 first quarter started in January -- making December an "orphan month.") But it now seems to be the case that this was just required when the company became a bank holding company.

Floyd Norris dings Goldman for not publicizing the losses anyway, since regulators that required the calendar switch didn't "force Goldman to avoid any mention of the December orphan month in the text of its earnings release." But it's not really a surprise that the bank would avoid trumpeting its own losses. That's journalism's job! And the December losses are right there on page 10 of the document above.

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Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.

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