Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is hoping the 147-year-old bank can learn some new tricks.
In an interview with CNBC’s David Faber, Blankfein said that the current market environment isn’t that supportive for big merger deals, individual investments, and the types of things that Goldman staff have traditionally made their living on.
So the bank has had to get creative.
“We’re not just sitting around singing kumbaya, waiting for the markets to come back,” said Blankfein.
Instead, Blankfein said, the bank is trying to drive new avenues of growth such as its new retail savings accounts and online retail lending platform, Marcus.
Blankfein said that there are two reason their main lines of income aren’t working out in the current market environment.
For the investment and trading side, the market has been supported by “monetary policy from central banks” which has “inflated all assets” according to Blankfein. Since there is little differentiation as “assets are being pumped up indiscriminately,” it is hard for Goldman to outperform the market.
On the other hand, this distortion of the market has also made companies nervous. This means that mergers, initial public offerings, and large investments that Goldman would help fund are not occurring as often.
“Since [the market] isn’t normal, people are waiting for it to normalize,” said Blankfein.
This is then causing “decision makers to defer” their investments, slowing down Goldman’s income from that side of the business.
Blankfein did admit that with stocks hitting all-time highs, it wasn’t all bad for the bank.
“It’s not the best of markets, but it’s not the worst of markets,” said the Goldman CEO.
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