Goldman glitters lessMay 20, 2010: 6:03 PM ET
The hurts keep coming for Goldman Sachs shareholders.
With Thursday's 3% tumble, Goldman shares have dropped $50 each since the Securities and Exchange Commission announced April 16 that it was suing the firm for fraud in a 2007 subprime debt sale.
The plunge – half coming the day of the SEC announcement and half since then -- has cut the firm's market capitalization by almost $26 billion.
Perhaps even more poignantly, it has made CEO Lloyd Blankfein, the firm's biggest individual shareholder and the guy who unintentionally brought you the rich "God's work" trope, $87 million poorer on paper. His Goldman stock is worth a mere $235 million now.
Blankfein isn't the only sort-of pauper in this tale. The firm's biggest shareholders have shed hundreds of millions of dollars in stake value as well. AllianceBernstein, the fund company that is Goldman's biggest institutional holder with 25.6 million shares, has seen its stake decline by $870 million since the end of the first quarter. The decline over the same span is $775 million at BlackRock Global Investors, Goldman's No. 2 institutional holder, and $643 million at No. 3 StateStreet.
And what about that other Goldman stakeholder, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) CEO Warren Buffett? Berkshire owns $5 billion of Goldman preferred shares that he values for their $500 million annual dividend, which of course remains safe.
But he also owns warrants to buy $5 billion worth of Goldman common stock at $115 a share. Those warrants are losing value as the stock falls. The way the stock market is going lately, they could be out of the money by this time next month – though if that comes to pass we may well have bigger problems than worrying about the value of rich men's stock portfolios.