July 16, 2013
Goldman Sachs said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit doubled and revenue jumped 30 percent, helped by gains in stock and bond underwriting and the bank’s own investments. But the hot topic for analysts who follow the bank was a set of impending capital rules and how they might affect the powerful New York investment bank.
Goldman’s stock rose in pre-market trading after the bank released its earnings results with rosy headline numbers. But the stock dipped moments after the market opened, just as Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz faced a barrage of questions about the capital rules and other hard-to-predict factors that could affect the bank’s future earnings, including how clients might react to rising interest rates.
Capital requirements have been the topic du jour as big financial companies have reported second-quarter earnings over the past few days. The consternation started last week, when U.S. regulators said they were considering requiring big U.S. banks to hold greater amounts of capital. Regulators in the U.S. and around the world have been raising capital requirements since the financial crisis, saying it will give banks a cushion in troubled times. Banks have protested, saying it will put them at a disadvantage to international peers, and constrain them from lending.