Last year was a humbling one for Goldman Sachs. Even though it earned $8 billion, it posted three straight quarters of earnings declines in 2010, and revenues at its biggest business--trading in fixed-income, currencies, and commodities--dropped a whopping 48% in the last quarter. For the entire year, Goldman's bottom line fell almost 40%.
Of course, Wall Street is all about comparisons from year to year, and in 2009 Goldman earned a record amount trading. But even with those tough comparisons, there was an unmistakable feeling that Goldmanites were looking forward to 2011.