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Goldman Sachs hopes to return gov't money soon

Goldman Sachs hopes to return gov't money soon

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Tuesday it hopes to return its $10 billion investment from the government as soon as possible.
Media reports said the repayment could come as soon as next month.
Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas Van Praag said late Tuesday the bank wants to pay the money back as soon as possible, but that the company needs the approval of federal regulators first.
Van Praag reiterated comments made by Goldman President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn in a taped interview posted on The Wall Street Journal's Web site. Cohn said he doesn't expect any banks, including Goldman, to be able to return government money until what are called stress tests are completed. But the tests, being performed on the nation's largest banks to determine their capital needs if economic conditions worsen, are expected to be completed by the end of April.
The main reason for the bank's desire to return the money is that it doesn't need the funds, Van Praag said, adding that Goldman had more than $100 billion in cash sitting on its balance sheet as of the end of November.
"We think that repaying this money is an endorsement of the steps the government has taken so far," Van Praag said, referring to the government's bank bailout program and other actions aimed at restoring the health of the banking sector.
"We wouldn't consider paying the money back if we thought it would make us weaker."
He also said the investment has resulted "in a number of unintended consequences," including intense public backlash that Goldman wanted to end.
Goldman, which was among the first financial institutions to receive money from the Treasury Department under the government's stock purchase program, has implied before that it hoped to return the money some time this year. But reports Tuesday suggested the bank is hoping to speed up that time line.
The New York Times, quoting what it called people involved in the process, said Goldman ideally will give the money back within the next month.
Cohn said Goldman talks with regulators every day, but that there haven't been "formal enough" conversations yet regarding the bank's returning of the investment.
"We will do whatever makes the most sense for our shareholders and our business and all of our regulators," Cohn said.
Shares fell $1.33 to $110.60 Tuesday as the stock market gave back part of Monday's huge advance.


Updated : 2021-10-21 17:01 GMT+08:00