From the WSJ: Goldman Sachs must hope there isn't too much truth to the saying about three of anything constituting a trend. Its first-quarter results Tuesday showed net income rose 7% from a year earlier to $2.26 billion. The firm also posted a return on equity of 12.4%, which while historically low was well above the midsingle-digit level seen last year.
But revenue from fixed-income, currency and commodities trading, the main driver of Goldman's business, registered its third consecutive, first-quarter year-on-year decline. At $3.2 billion, it was down 7% from a year before and was fully 25% lower than in the first quarter of 2011. The worrying implication is that, over such a long period, this trend confirms a structural shift in trading to a more subdued level….