Goldman posted net profits of $981m in the quarter, with Morgan Stanley coming in at $1.04bn. Both firms saw improving revenues from investment banking and a strong showing from fixed income activities. Goldman chief financial officer, David Viniar, was cautiously optimistic, saying that 'things clearly feel better than they did at this time last year'. He also said that headcount 'will be on the positive side of flat'.
Morgan Stanley's opposite number, Stephen Crawford, said that the firm was hoping the worst of the recent downturn was over and noted that its investment banking pipeline was around 30% higher than this time last year.
Lehman's fourth quarter net revenues hit $481m, with fixed income once again leading the charge. Richard Fuld, chairman and chief executive, said: 'Our results for the quarter and for the full year reflect the firm's terrific momentum across all of our businesses'.
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