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Goldman Sachs Group Inc : Goldman Legal Costs Could Exceed Reserves by $4 Billion

11/06/2013 | 01:45pm US/Eastern

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised a closely watched measure of its legal costs by $500 million, the Wall Street firm's finance chief said Wednesday.

Speaking during a conference call with fixed-income analysts, Goldman Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz said the New York firm had increased the top end of its range of "reasonably possible" legal costs to $4 billion above what it has set aside in reserves. That was up from $3.5 billion at the end of June.

"In terms of litigation, we continue to reassess our own individual cases," Mr. Schwartz said.

Goldman discloses the estimates in a quarterly regulatory filing. The new filing, Mr. Schwartz said, will come out by Thursday afternoon.

Large banks including Goldman have continued to wade through waves of litigation stemming from their actions before and during the financial crisis.

When Mr. Schwartz discussed "reasonably possible" losses, he was referring to a term that--under accounting standards--refers to events that are less than likely, yet more than remote.

Write to Justin Baer at

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