Tags: Goldman | profit | Europe | crisis

Goldman President Cohn: We Can Turn Profit From Europe’s Crisis

By    |   Friday, 01 June 2012 11:59 AM

Many investors are concerned that a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis could cause them huge losses.

But Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn is confident that a meltdown would bring profit to the bank. "Our trading desk can make money in any environment," he told a group of investors Thursday, Fortune reports.

If things get worse for European banks, they may have to sell off $1 trillion in assets. That would create an investment opportunity for Goldman, Cohn says.

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"We are uniquely positioned to intermediate these [European banks’] asset sales and distribute these investment opportunities to our clients."

Already Goldman is seeing an influx of customers from its weakened European competitors, Cohn says.

The firm is more worried about whether its trading counterparts would be able to follow through on their commitments if the euro collapses.

"We have been working to find out if we could be paid in drachma or lira," Cohn says. "It's a big issue."

Goldman cut its holdings of government debt in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain during the first quarter. But it increased its Italian debt allocation by more than 10 times to $2.5 billion.

The scope of Europe’s woes shone through clearly in a speech by European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi Thursday. He said the currency union is “unsustainable unless further steps are taken.”

But there’s little more the ECB can do, Draghi said, putting the onus on fractured political authorities.

Editor's Note: Sept. 18 Cover-Up Is a Final Turning for America

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