Goldman Sachs ( GS) is concerned about a buildup of risk in the financial system as hedge funds and new derivatives-clearing facilities gain importance in the wake of regulatory changes, according to a Financial Times report Thursday.

Drawing upon public remarks made by Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn at the Davos Forum in Switzerland, as well as anonymous comments, the report stated that Goldman is concerned that activities that had been the province of highly regulated entities such as banks move to more lightly regulated entities such as hedge funds.

"What I worry most about is that in the next cycle, as the regulatory pendulum swings, we are going to have to use taxpayer money to bail out unregulated businesses that, unlike the banks in the last crisis, may not be able to repay them," the newspaper quotes Cohn as saying.

The comments may be interpreted as a further sign of weakness from Goldman, shares of which have tumbled in the wake of less-than-spectacular fourth quarter earnings. While some have predicted that new regulations will cause Goldman to be less profitable, executives at the firm have said it will be able to maintain a "normalized" return on equity of 20%. Goldman's fourth quarter ROE was far lower -- about 12%.

Goldman shares opened in negative territory Thursday but were up 1.05% after about 15 minutes of trading.


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