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Goldman Gets Paid To Worry, But CEO Tells Investors He's Still Optimistic

Goldman Sachs' (GS - Get Report) business is worrying, about everything from China's shift to a consumer economy to liquidity problems in financial markets, on behalf of its clients. And that business is growing, with wild gyrations in financial markets, Great Britain's referendum on leaving the European Union and a presidential election in the U.S.

All "are examples of issues that are generating unease," CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in his annual letter to shareholders on Friday. Still, he says there are plenty of reasons for optimism.

"We see the U.S. nearing full employment, signs of modest inflation and some stabilization in equity and commodity markets," Blankfein and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn wrote. "We don't see how a world of zero or negative interest rates could possibly be the 'new normal.' Moreover, we view China's slower rate of economic growth as still substantial, particularly given that it is now the world's second-largest economy."

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His assessment echoes the optimism expressed a day earlier by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and three of her predecessors in the U.S. central bank's top job. While global concerns remain, including slow growth in Europe that has spurred the central bank there to set negative rates and expansion in China that may have narrowed to as little as 3% a year, the...


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