Goldman Sachs Federally-Insured Bank Loses $1.2 Billion in Interest Rate Derivative Bets

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade

A week before Christmas when Americans were focused on either the impeachment proceedings or holiday preparations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) quietly released its quarterly report on the trading and derivative activities of Wall Street’s casino banks. It contained a humdinger in, literally, red ink. The report showed that Goldman Sachs Bank USA, which is, insanely, a federally-insured bank backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer that is part of the Goldman trading colossus, had lost $1.24 billion trading interest rate derivatives during the third quarter of this year. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the bank only holds $149.8 billion in deposits while the OCC reports it has $49 trillion in notional derivatives (face amount). (See Table 7 in the Appendix at this link.)

Profits in other derivative trading areas, like the $1.14 billion Goldman Sachs Bank USA made trading foreign exchange derivatives, allowed the federally-insured unit of Goldman Sachs to eke out a $71 million net trading profit on the derivative bets it had made during the quarter, according to the OCC report.

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