Goldman Sachs CFO says the bank ‘didn’t navigate the market well’

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. offered a rare mea culpa on Tuesday, after uncharacteristic weakness in its bread-and-butter trading business helped the investment-banking powerhouse to deliver a first-quarter earnings stumble.

“We did underperform and the underperformance was driven by commodities and currencies,” said newly minted Chief Financial Officer Martin Chavez, during a Tuesday morning call with analysts to discuss the bank’s quarterly results. “We could have done a better job navigating the markets and that’s all I will say,” he said.

Goldman’s GS, +0.32%  overall trading declined 2.4% from a year earlier to $3.36 billion, with equity trading revenue down 6% to $1.67 billion, compared with $1.78 billion in the year-ago quarter. Fees from its business related to trading bonds, commodities and currencies, gained slightly to $1.69 billion.

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