JEREMY HOBSON: Now let’s get to today’s big story on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs is releasing a 63 page report today that discloses how much money the investment bank makes on its own trades and investments — proprietary trading, as it’s called. Goldman has faced criticism for putting its own interests ahead of the interests of its clients.
Juli Niemann is an analyst at Smith Moore and Company. She’s with us live now from St. Louis. Good morning.
JULI NIEMANN: Good morning Jeremy.
HOBSON: so why is Goldman doing this and what will we learn from all this new information?
NIEMANN: At last we see the voodoo they do so well. There’s always been a question whether it’s black magic or black box. What we will get is divisional break out — where’s the profit coming from. But this is normal in compliance with regulation FD — full and fair disclosure. That’s about 10 years ago. The big question is, though, disclosure doesn’t equal change. Change comes when you remove the profit from an activity and all they’re doing is moving out proprietary trading. That’s going to be a subdivision of the company.
HOBSON: Alright big picture Juli. And quickly, big picture here — two and a half years after the financial crisis — do we really know much more about what the big banks are doing?
NIEMANN: Not really, because it’s almost like doing an autopsy on the dead banks. We know the cause of death here, we know exactly what it was — it was bad lending. But Dr. Volcker was fired before he could do the cure. You can’t bet the house when you are trading for profits. Banks are going to give part of that up. But we still aren’t addressing the lousy lending standards, the operational deficiencies — that’s the foreclosure fraud that is going on — capital deficiencies, not enough cushion to whether the downturn and Dr. Volcker was working on the cure. So I don’t see much meaningful change at all.
HOBSON: Juli Niemann, analyst at Smith Moore and Company, thanks as always.
NIEMANN: You bet.
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