Goldman Said Likely To Lose Billions

The Wall Street Journal reports that 'industry insiders' are now expecting Goldman Sachs to post a fourth-quarter loss of as much as $2bn. And analysts are now saying that the firm is likely to take writedowns on real-estate and leveraged loan assets, as well as its stake in the Commercial Bank of China, which fell around 28% during Goldman's fiscal-fourth quarter.

Analysts at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have lowered Goldman's earnings estimates. Susan Roth Katzke from Credit Suisse said in a note to clients: 'October was a difficult month. November - though we were hopeful - was really no better with asset prices - equities, credit and real estate - only coming under more pressure'.

In the meantime, Reuters reports that Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann has told German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung that he stands by the bank's investment banking unit, which he expects to make 'significant' contributions to future earnings. Ackermann reconfirmed that Deutsche planned to retain an investment bank 'with global ambitions'.

And New York Magazine has an interesting profile on Lehman CEO Dick Fuld. Now relegated to an office in the Time & Life building, Fuld clearly doesn't have much to do these days (he is stepping down a CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings at the year end). He is said, however, to often speak to former colleagues on the telephone, working himself up into a rage as he talks through the final days of the firm, and searches for an explanation as to why the US government didn't step in to save it.

Finally, Reuters reports that AIG has confirmed that it has agreed to sell AIG Private Bank to Abu-Dhabi investment firm Aabar Investments. The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

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