We’re not sure if this is a good trend or bad. Goldman’s earnings slipped, but still beat analyst expectations, and beat first quarter results as well. If it’s the best we can do given the current economic environment, we’ll take it.

It was supposed to be immune from such news due to the foresight and leadership of our current Treasury Secretary (as you know, Paulson came to the post from Goldman). He largely avoided directly exposing the firm to many of the credit investments other venerable firms were busy lapping up. Alas, not even Goldman is immune from the current mess, and reported an 11 percent drop in fiscal second-quarter net income amid credit losses. The Wall Street Journal is quick to point out, however, that the firm’s results improved from the first quarter despite many expecting a worse performance for the spring period.

The paper reports that for the quarter ended May 30, the biggest Wall Street bank by market value reported net income of $2.09 billion, or $4.58 a share, down from $2.33 billion, or $4.93 a share, a year earlier. The latest results include a loss of about $775 million – which involves a $500 million loss from hedges – related to non-investment-grade credit origination activities. Net revenue fell 7.5 percent to $9.42 billion.

The mean estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were for earnings of $3.42 a share on $8.74 billion in revenue.

Chief Executive Lloyd C. Blankfein said, “Given the difficult market conditions, we are particularly pleased to be able to report strong results for the second quarter.”