“The biggest lessons from the downturn have been that no matter how bad a position can get, it can get a lot worse. And never be too big in anything.”
— Bank analyst Meredith Whitney in an email to investors. In the note she recaps what she learned during a lunch this week with Goldman Sachs’ president Gary Cohn and CFO David Viniar. Goldman has stayed strong, relatively, as rivals have fallen. Not that the firm isn’t feeling great pain. In commercial real estate, Cohn told Whitney that this is “the most illiquid market he has ever seen.” But as the markets have gone from bad to worse–the Dow fell 281 points today, another 4% plunge–Goldman’s market share and pricing have benefited from being one of the “last men standing,” Whitney says. She is neutral on Goldman stock, trading at $81.72 vs. $164.97 a year ago.
In case you missed it, Whitney was cited in Tom Friedman’s New York Times column on Wednesday. Type “M-E-R-E” into Google’s search box and a list of things you might be searching for will appear, with “Meredith Whitney” at the top of the list. Free Internet marketing for her new firm, Meredith Whitney Advisory! –Jessica Shambora