If you're expecting the new financial reform law to cut into Goldman Sachs' profits, think again, says Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Goldman executives are privately — and with conviction — assuring analysts that they won't make any less money than they did before. Goldman appears to be "seriously preparing for some major changes," since the new rules bar banks from engaging in proprietary trading, or investing the firm's own money. The idea is to prevent federally-insured depository institutions from "engaging in high-risk speculation," but apparently there are enough "loopholes" in the new law to "allow the bank to continue gambling as before." Here, an excerpt:
The LA Times story suggests that banks like Goldman have either figured out how to compensate for their lost proprietary trading revenue, or else they’ve figured out a way to keep doing what they have been doing, only in some other form...
Things supposedly would be like the NYSE, where everyone, not just the high-volume traders, knows the price of IBM or Ford shares. When the bill passed, the sources I talked to almost unanimously identified this one section as the most meaningful part of the new law.
But I’ve been hearing that the clearing/exchange-trading requirement is not as solid as some thought it might be.