Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sleight of hand and orphan month based accounting - Goldman Sachs style

Goldman Sachs keeps getting better at the 'hoodwink' game... Just about everyone heard about their wondrous profits declared yesterday. Now the rest of the story...

From here: Goldman Sachs reported a profit of $1.8 billion in the first quarter, and plans to sell $5 billion in stock and get out of the government’s clutches, if it can.
How did it do that? One way was to hide a lot of losses in not-so-plain sight.
Goldman’s 2008 fiscal year ended Nov. 30. This year the company is switching to a calendar year. The leaves December as an orphan month, one that will be largely ignored. In Goldman’s earnings statement, and in most of the news reports, the quarter ended March 31 is compared to the quarter last year that ended in February.
The orphan month featured — surprise — lots of write-offs. The pretax loss was $1.3 billion, and the after-tax loss was $780 million.
Would the firm have had a profit if it had stuck to its old calendar, and had to include December and exclude March?

Note: In spite of their profits, the fact that they are blogger bullies remain...

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