Goldman Sachs announced third-quarter earnings today and, as expected, Lloyd Blankfein has good reason to smile. The firm raked in $3.1 billion in profits, which was three times what the bank made during the same period in 2008. And Goldman bonuses will set a new record when they're doled out in a few months: A whopping $5.25 billion was set aside this quarter alone to pay for them. (As several people predicted, the firm also announced it was putting a big chuck of money—$200 million—into its foundation this quarter in what appears to be an attempt to counter negative press over the big bonuses.) But travel a few miles north from Goldman HQ to the offices of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and the mood isn't as cheery.
Citigroup announced third-quarter earnings today, too, reporting a per-share loss after suffering another $8 billion in credit losses. But it wasn't as bad as analysts had been predicting, so that's good news! And Citi massaged the numbers a bit to make them seem better than they really were—thus enabling the bank to technically say that it generated a modest profit for the quarter—and which only managed to confuse things. ("It can give you brain damage trying to figure this out," said one portfolio manager.)
Goldman Earns $3.1 Billion in 3rd Quarter [NYT]
Goldman Sachs Profit Climbs on Strong Trading Operations [WSJ]
Citigroup Reports a Per-Share 3rd-Quarter Loss [NYT]
Citigroup Takes $8 Billion in Credit Losses [Reuters]