I learned a long time ago to not listen to what people say but watch what they do, and in the case of Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), their net shorting of Wells Fargo (NYSE:GS), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), PNC (NYSE: PNC) and AIG (NYSE: AIG) reveals they’re not buying into the assertion that we’ve started to enter a period of economic recovery; on the contrary, they’re betting against it.

In their recent quarterly filing, which is called a 13F, Goldman asset managers revealed their largest positions in specific companies, and within those parameters, the largest short and long positions they have. That simply means what stocks they believe will go up or down in price going forward.

As far as the strategy Goldman is employing, they’re investing in shorts and longs, but when the smoke clears they’re net short on the four stocks mentioned above. Without getting into what that strategy means as far as how it protects from losses while promising the best gains, let’s look at what it means from Goldman’s current view of the economic crisis.

It’s simple really. Goldman is saying by their actions that the financial industry is still in shambles, and we are far from entering an economic recovery. You don’t offer net short positions unless you absolutely believe that. Consequently, Goldman believe the future doesn’t hold a lot of promise for these four financial stocks. I’m sure Citigroup (NYSE:C) would have been part of this as well, but shorting a $4 stock doesn’t leave a lot of room to make money.

As of the release of the report from their asset managers, the net short position of the four companies are this: Goldman has shorted Wells Fargo by $289 million, Mastercard by $266 million, PNC by 202 million, and AIG by $152 million. Together that’s over $900 million. Not a strong support for an economic recovery at all.

One interesting side on all this is Goldman itself is one of the most exposed financial companies in the world to derivatives, and when measured by derivatives as a percentage of assets, is over 8 times more exposed than their nearest competitor in the U.S. I wonder if Goldman shorted themselves?

I’ve been talking for some time on American Banking News on why the recession is far from over and the idea of recovery being a reality is ridiculous. Here’s another proof that others, within the industry itself, understand that as well.

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