Goldman Sachs' announcement that it netted $1.81 billion in its fiscal quarter ended March 27 was "amazing," as Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz put it in a research note this morning. (Fixed income trading was credited with providing the fuel to recovery.) And, this morning, Goldman raised $5 billion by issuing common stock; the company wants to repay its $10 billion in TARP funds. Goldman is said to be eager to get out from under the gub'ment's thumb. (By the way, Hintz says "accrued compensation" in the period was $4.71 billion, or about $675,000 per employee; the Wall Street Journal reports that 953 Goldman employees were paid $1 million and up last year. With that accrued comp --- read: bonuses --- in just three months, Goldman seems well on its way to paying gaudy rewards to its employees in this fiscal year too. The gub'ment, seeking to play populist demagogues on the issue, would love to get a hold of that and hit the bully pulpit.)
Of course, not everyone is cheering Goldman's sucess. In fact, the New York Post reports this morning that a Florida blogger smells a conspiracy, to wit, the evil bankers did it. Mike Morgan, of Jensen Beach, Fla., a self-described entrepreneur, has launched a website, goldmansachs666.com , to act as an "open forum" for describing "what part Goldman Sachs and their [sic] executives played in the current Global Economic Crisis." Morgan (his surname is an interesting coincidence, BTW) is hosting a conference call tomorrow, Tax Day, to drum up volunteer support in his endeavor. (Goldman, by the way, has asked him to quit using its name, arguing that Morgan is infringing on Goldman's trademark.) We should point out that while it may offer oodles of fun, kicking around Wall Streeters, Morgan and his ilk should realize that it wasn't just the bankers: Everyone is to blame from the gub'ment that forced banks into making stupid loans for social engineering and vote-getting purposes to greedy citizens who took loans they could not afford on stupid bets that housing was a miracle asset. The blame, Mister Morgan, should be applied with a wide brush.
Whoops! Hope my use of the GS logo is deemed "fair use."