Goldman’s CEO Says He’s Optimistic About 2024 as Markets Rebound

(Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon said he’s optimistic about this year as his firm expects to reap gains from a rebound in capital-markets activity.

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The bank will focus on its two core businesses, global banking and markets, as well as asset- and wealth-management, Solomon said in his annual letter to shareholders, distributed Friday. The CEO noted that the cost of capital is now materially higher following years of easy monetary policy, which he said markets are adjusting to.

He called 2023 “a year of execution” for the bank — a year it began by embarking on one of its biggest rounds of job cuts ever, eliminating 3,200 jobs. New York-based Goldman, like its rivals, faced clogged-up capital markets that kept a lid on fees and magnified losses on real estate investments. The firm also was hurt by a failing consumer strategy it has since backed away from.

“We took swift, decisive action to refocus the firm’s strategy while at the same time strengthening our core businesses, and I’m proud of the progress we made,” Solomon said. “We put the firm in a stronger position for 2024 and beyond.”

He reiterated comments about the US economy proving more resilient than expected, though he said inflation is likely to be stickier than markets anticipate. Solomon said that CEOs tell him that economic conditions for the consumers at lower-income levels are getting tougher, leading to changes in spending patterns.

“But the Fed now has room to ease if economic conditions start to decline,” he said.

Goldman has raised more than $250 billion in alternatives since 2019, surpassing a $225 billion target a year early, he said.

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