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Goldman's Commodities Trading Desk Dodged the Ax and Is Minting Billions Again

  • Commodities unit’s revenue is said to pass $2 billion in 2021
  • Its chief, Ed Emerson, will join the firm’s highest earners
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WATCH: Goldman’s revenue shot past $2.2 billion in the final months of 2021. Meanwhile, the bank delayed its return to office for staff in the U.S. by another two weeks. Su Keenan reports.Source: Bloomberg

It was once one of the strongest engines in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s trading powerhouse before seeming to weaken with every year. By 2017, the bank’s commodities desk was failing to generate $300 million -- less than a 10th its heyday -- and top executives were worried about its future.

But in a comeback that underscores Wall Street’s change of fortunes amid the pandemic, the unit’s revenue shot past $2.2 billion in the final months of 2021 -- topping a windfall it generated in 2020 for its strongest performance in a decade. That’s adding credence to the notion of a revival.