Goldman Sachs posted a profitable quarter by skipping December, during which it realized huge losses.
Now Morgan Stanley is doing the same thing.
Specifically, Morgan’s first quarter results report states:
As a result of the change in the Company’s fiscal year end from November 30th to December 31st, the Company had a December 2008 fiscal month transition period. The results for this period, which reflected a net loss applicable to Morgan Stanley of $1.3 billion, are presented on page 19 of the financial supplement accompanying this release.
Presto, Morgan’s performance massaged to look better than it really was.