If you want to work as a trader, it's a lot less clear than it used to be that you should be working at Goldman Sachs

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It used to be clear that Goldman was the place to be if you're a trader. Now it's not.

Goldman's traders continued to make some of the biggest money in the third quarter. However, they also made losses on more days than rivals.

The 10Q submissions of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley paint a predictable picture of worsening conditions, increasing trading losses and erratic profitability.

On one measure, Goldman Sachs' traders were far more successful than the rest: they made profits in excess of $50m on 27 days in the third quarter and profits in excess of $100m on 9 days. By comparison, Morgan Stanley's traders made revenues in excess of $50m on only 9 days in the three months to September. Despite what was ostensibly a disastrous trading quarter at Bank of America, BAML's traders did comparatively well - they made revenues of $50m on 13 days last quarter.

However, it's the losses that stand out. BAML's traders shot themselves in the foot with losses of more than $100m on two days. It's not clear how much higher than $100m these losses were, but the implication is - a lot. Overall, Goldman's traders made losses on 28 days; Morgan Stanley's on 26 days. Not long ago, the same banks were making trading losses on no days in a quarter.

So, if you're a trader, where should you aspire to work - if you want to work in a big bank? JPMorgan is generally thought to be the new hot ticket.

JPMorgan didn't break out trading performance for the third quarter, but it does show trading performance for the first six and nine months. This suggests it made losses on around 15 days in the third quarter and profits more than $60m on around 23 days. The gap between JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs has narrowed - in JPM's favour.

Days of positive and negative trading revenues in the third quarter

Bank of America:

No days with more than $100m

1 day with $75m-100m

12 days with in $50m-$75m

17 days with $25m-$50m

14 days with 0-$25m

4 days with -$50m to -$25m

2 days with more than -$100m

Morgan Stanley:

2 days with more than $100m

1 day with $75m-$100m

6 days with $50m-$75m

10 days with $25m-$50m

9 days with $0m-$25m

9 days with $-25m to 0m

7 days with $-50m to -$25m

4 days with $-75m to -$50m

3 days with $-75m to -$100m

1 day with $-125m to -$100m

1 day with $-125m to -$150m

1 day with more than -$150m

Goldman Sachs:

9 days with more than $100m

9 days with $75m-$100m

8 days with $50m-$75m

10 days with $25m-$50m

7 days with 0-$25m

8 days with -$25m to 0

8 days with -$25m to -$50m

1 day with -$50m to -$75m

3 days with -$75m to -$100m

1 day with more than -$100m

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