Goldman Sachs dramatically increased its exposure to debt issued by the US government and government-sponsored agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the first quarter of this year, apparently bucking the trend of some of the biggest bond traders to short US Treasuries.
At the end of the first quarter of this year, Goldman owned just over $100 billion of US government and federal agency debt, according to it’s latest quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s a $15 billion increase over the fourth quarter of 2010 and a $21 billion increase over its holdings during the fourth quarter of last year.
For a firm like Goldman, an extra $15 billion or $20 billion might not seem like much. But building the portfolio of US government debt while many investors, such as Bill Gross’s PIMCO, are reducing their exposure definitely shows Goldman swimming against the stream.