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Goldman Sachs Set for Major Job Cuts Amid Declining Markets Revenue

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. confronts a challenging economic landscape with major job cuts and a projected 25% drop in trading revenue this quarter.

Goldman Sachs logo
Goldman Sachs logo

The Deteriorating Macroeconomic Backdrop

"The current macroeconomic environment is remarkably demanding," said John Waldron, Goldman Sachs' President and Chief Operating Officer, during an investor conference. The extent of the impending layoffs, however, remains undisclosed. Amidst these challenging conditions, the firm's shares fell 1.8%, contrasting with the 1% increase in the S&P 500 financial index.

Anticipated Job Cuts and Reduced Payroll Expenses

Approximately 250 positions are projected to be cut in the upcoming weeks, adding to the 3,200 jobs already eliminated in January, marking the firm's most extensive headcount reduction since the 2008 financial crisis. These job cuts form part of Goldman's strategy to attain its $600-million payroll reduction target set earlier this year. Waldron predicts that the bank could surpass this goal by year-end.

Predicted Revenue Slump Amid Global Instability

A 25% reduction in equities and fixed income market revenue is anticipated this quarter, reflecting a slump from last year's boom, when macro factors such as interest rate hikes and the Ukraine conflict fueled a surge in fixed income and commodities trading. This outlook contrasts with the revenue spike of 32% experienced by Goldman's global markets unit in Q2 2022.

Sluggish Capital Market Activity and Echoing Rival Predictions

Waldron indicated a slowdown in capital markets activity, with more muted activity levels in the equities and fixed-income sectors. His sentiments align with those of other Wall Street powerhouses. Morgan Stanley's Co-president, Andy Saperstein, and JPMorgan Chase & Co's President, Daniel Pinto, signaled a downturn in trading and investment banking results in the upcoming quarter.

Prospects for Fintech Business GreenSky and Consumer Bank Marcus

Goldman Sachs is also considering a sale of its fintech arm, GreenSky, and may face impairment charges on the business's $500 million worth of goodwill. Concurrently, the firm mulls selling GreenSky's loan book separately. Goldman had previously divested $1 billion worth of loans from its consumer bank, Marcus, in an ongoing bid to shrink its portfolio.

Confronting Challenges in Consumer Banking

Goldman Sachs' venture into consumer banking, spearheaded by CEO David Solomon, has struggled against seasoned consumer banks, suffering heavy losses due to credit provisioning. Despite these setbacks, Waldron remains optimistic about Goldman's financing revenues, citing a $3 billion increase over the past three years and the potential for further growth as regional banks retreat from the market.