The up and down markets from last year, took its toll even on Goldman Sachs, which is thought of as the rock star of investment banks.
Goldman posted a billion dollar profit during the last quarter of 2011. And while that may seem like a lot, it's 58 percent down. The AP reports that the profit follows a third quarter in which Goldman lost money for only the third time since it went public in 1999.
The AP adds:
"Goldman's typical clients are large hedge funds and multinational corporations that need to hedge their bets on foreign currencies, fluctuating interest rates and commodities.
"The bumpy financial markets hurt revenue in those parts of Goldman's business. Revenue from client services fell 16 percent to $3.06 billion for the quarter. Transactions in commodities, currency and fixed income fell 17 percent.
"Besides trading for those clients, Goldman has made big profits trading for itself — especially when markets are volatile. In 2009, as the country grappled with a financial crisis and a deep recession, Goldman turned a record $13.4 billion profit. But regulations taking effect this year will reduce Goldman's ability to make those trades for the firm."
Bloomberg reports that at $1.84 a share, Goldman still beat investor's expectations. They were predicting a $1.23 profit.
And market took the news in stride. Goldman's stock was up 6.8 percent.