Goldman CEO Sees No Significant Writedowns; Still Short Subprime

| About: Goldman Sachs (GS)

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Tuesday he does not expect his company to take any "significant writedowns" in its current portfolio. Goldman's extremely profitable third-quarter was in stark contract to its rivals, many of whom took massive losses. Blankfein said Goldman has a solid "grip" on how to value the bank's $50 billion holdings in illiquid assets such as private equity and real estate. "We are confident that we know how to evaluate these assets," he said. The CEO also added that his company retains a short position in the subprime-mortgage market: "We are net short in these markets. We continue to be bearish." Despite this, he believes that markets will recover, saying, "The world will not come to an end… There will be an opportunity to come in, and we would hope to be involved in it." Speaking at a conference in NYC, Blankfein also told investors he is "chasing GDP growth around the world," particularly in BRIC countries and the Middle East, where the company continues to develop its securities businesses and pursue private wealth management. Goldman's stock has increased 14% in 2007; it is the only one of Wall Street's five largest investment banks to be up for the year. Shares of Goldman were up 6.5% to $228.75 in midday trading Tuesday.

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