By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Executives at Goldman Sachs Group Inc are monitoring the total amount of loans borrowed on margin after the collapse of investment fund Archegos Capital Management last month, the bank’s President and Chief Operating Officer John Waldron said on Monday.
Speaking at a virtual meeting held by the Economic Club of New York, Waldron said the total amount of margin debt industry-wide is about $800 billion, a roughly $300-billion increase over the past year.
“That’s an extraordinary (level) of margin debt,” Waldron said. “We’re watching that carefully.”
Goldman was one of around a half-dozen banks that lent to Archegos, which amassed large holdings of companies and was caught short when the stock price of one company, ViacomCBS , fell sharply.
Credit Suisse, the Japanese bank Nomura and Morgan Stanley reported combined losses of around $7 billion related to the fund’s collapse.
Goldman has said that the impact of the event was immaterial to the bank’s bottom line.
Waldron also commented on a recent controversy related to Goldman’s first-year analysts, who have complained to management about working 100-hour-weeks during the recent surge in deal-making activity from blank check companies.
Waldron said the bank is working to hire more employees to help alleviate the workload, and admitted this has gone slowly.
“We were caught, like many, not exactly expecting the dramatic increase in activity levels,” Waldron said, adding that the bank is now hiring more workers. “We were a little slow, but we are doing it now.”
(Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts MarshallEditing by Nick Zieminski)