GOOD OLD DAYS: Goldman Sachs went some way to restoring its reputation as a Wall Street powerhouse after reporting that earnings almost tripled in the fourth quarter.

FEWER BANKERS: While revenues surged, driven in part by a jump in bond underwriting, Goldman achieved the profit increase with fewer bankers. The investment bank's headcount was marginally lower last year than in 2011.

A LITTLE BIT MORE: Even though revenue surged, Goldman Sachs was able to keep a tight rein on compensation, its biggest single expense. That's good for shareholders.