Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2)

Registration Statement No. 333-239610

The information in this preliminary pricing supplement is not complete and may be changed. This preliminary pricing supplement is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

 

 

Subject to Completion. Dated October 22, 2020.    

GS Finance Corp.

 

$

Capped Airbag GEARS due

guaranteed by

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

 

The notes do not bear interest.  The amount that you will be paid on your notes on the stated maturity date (expected to be October 27, 2022) is based on the performance of the S&P 500® Index as measured from the initial index level (set on the trade date, expected to be October 23, 2020) to the final index level on the determination date (expected to be October 24, 2022).  If the final index level is greater than the initial index level, the return on your notes will be positive, subject to the maximum settlement amount of between $12.45 and $12.64 (set on the trade date) for each $10 face amount of your notes. If the final index level declines by up to 10.00% from the initial index level, you will receive the face amount of your notes. If the final index level declines by more than 10.00% from the initial index level, the return on your notes will be negative and you will lose approximately 1.1111% of the face amount of your notes for every 1% that the final index level has declined below 90.00% of the initial index level. You could lose your entire investment in the notes.

To determine your payment at maturity, we will calculate the index return, which is the percentage increase or decrease in the final index level from the initial index level. On the stated maturity date, for each $10 face amount of your notes, you will receive an amount in cash equal to:

if the index return is positive (the final index level is greater than the initial index level), the sum of (i) $10 plus (ii) the product of (a) $10 times (b) 1.5 times (c) the index return, subject to the maximum settlement amount;

if the index return is zero or negative but not below -10.00% (the final index level is equal to or less than the initial index level but not by more than 10.00%), $10; or

if the index return is negative and is below -10.00% (the final index level is less than the initial index level by more than 10.00%), the sum of (i) $10 plus (ii) the product of (a) approximately 1.1111 times (b) the sum of the index return plus 10.00% times (c) $10.

If you sell your notes before the stated maturity date, you may receive less than the amount of your investment in the notes even if the level of the index is greater than 90.00% of the initial index level at the time of such sale. If the final index level declines, relative to the initial index level, by more than 10.00%, you will lose approximately 1.1111% of the face amount of your notes for every 1% that such decline exceeds 10.00%.

You should read the disclosure herein to better understand the terms and risks of your investment, including the credit risk of GS Finance Corp. and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. See page PS-12.The estimated value of your notes at the time the terms of your notes are set on the trade date is expected to be between $9.00 and $9.30 per $10 face amount. For a discussion of the estimated value and the price at which Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC would initially buy or sell your notes, if it makes a market in the notes, see the following page.  

Original issue date:

expected to be October 28, 2020

Original issue price:

100.00% of the face amount

Underwriting discount:

0.15% of the face amount*

Net proceeds to the issuer:

99.85% of the face amount

* Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC will purchase the notes at 99.85% and will sell the notes to UBS Financial Services Inc., the selling agent, at 100% of the face amount of the notes. UBS Financial Services Inc. will sell the notes to fee-based advisory accounts for which it is an investment advisor and will not receive any portion of the underwriting discount or any sales commission relating to these sales.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus.  Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense. The notes are not bank deposits and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency, nor are they obligations of, or guaranteed by, a bank.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

UBS Financial Services Inc.

Selling Agent

Pricing Supplement No.      dated         , 2020.



The issue price, underwriting discount and net proceeds listed above relate to the notes we sell initially.  We may decide to sell additional notes after the date of this pricing supplement, at issue prices and with underwriting discounts and net proceeds that differ from the amounts set forth above. The return (whether positive or negative) on your investment in notes will depend in part on the issue price you pay for such notes.

GS Finance Corp. may use this prospectus in the initial sale of the notes. In addition, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC or any other affiliate of GS Finance Corp. may use this prospectus in a market-making transaction in a note after its initial sale.  Unless GS Finance Corp. or its agent informs the purchaser otherwise in the confirmation of sale, this prospectus is being used in a market-making transaction

 

Estimated Value of Your Notes

The estimated value of your notes at the time the terms of your notes are set on the trade date (as determined by reference to pricing models used by Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (GS&Co.) and taking into account our credit spreads) is expected to be between $9.00 and $9.30 per $10 face amount, which is less than the original issue price. The value of your notes at any time will reflect many factors and cannot be predicted; however, the price (not including GS&Co.’s customary bid and ask spreads) at which GS&Co. would initially buy or sell notes (if it makes a market, which it is not obligated to do) and the value that GS&Co. will initially use for account statements and otherwise is equal to approximately the estimated value of your notes at the time of pricing, plus an additional amount (initially equal to $ per $10 face amount).

Prior to , the price (not including GS&Co.’s customary bid and ask spreads) at which GS&Co. would buy or sell your notes (if it makes a market, which it is not obligated to do) will equal approximately the sum of (a) the then-current estimated value of your notes (as determined by reference to GS&Co.’s pricing models) plus (b) any remaining additional amount (the additional amount will decline to zero on a straight-line basis over a 363 day period from the time of pricing). On and after , the price (not including GS&Co.’s customary bid and ask spreads) at which GS&Co. would buy or sell your notes (if it makes a market) will equal approximately the then-current estimated value of your notes determined by reference to such pricing models.

 

About Your Prospectus

The notes are part of the Medium-Term Notes, Series F program of GS Finance Corp. and are fully and unconditionally guaranteed by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. This prospectus includes this pricing supplement and the accompanying documents listed below. This pricing supplement constitutes a supplement to the documents listed below and should be read in conjunction with such documents:

General terms supplement no. 8,671 dated July 1, 2020

Underlier supplement no. 12 dated September 25, 2020

Prospectus supplement dated July 1, 2020

Prospectus dated July 1, 2020

The information in this pricing supplement supersedes any conflicting information in the documents listed above. In addition, some of the terms or features described in the listed documents may not apply to your notes.

 

 

PS-2


SUMMARY INFORMATION

We refer to the notes we are offering by this pricing supplement as the “offered notes” or the “notes”.  Each of the offered notes has the terms described below.  Please note that in this pricing supplement, references to “GS Finance Corp.”, “we”, “our” and “us” mean only GS Finance Corp. and do not include its subsidiaries or affiliates, references to “The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.”, our parent company, mean only The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and do not include its subsidiaries or affiliates and references to “Goldman Sachs” mean The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. together with its consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates, including us.  Also, references to the “accompanying prospectus” mean the accompanying prospectus, dated July 1, 2020, references to the “accompanying prospectus supplement” mean the accompanying prospectus supplement, dated July 1, 2020, for Medium-Term Notes, Series F, references to the “accompanying underlier supplement no. 12” mean the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12, dated September 25, 2020, and references to the “accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671” mean the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671, dated July 1, 2020, in each case of GS Finance Corp. and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The notes will be issued under the senior debt indenture, dated as of October 10, 2008, as supplemented by the First Supplemental Indenture, dated as of February 20, 2015, each among us, as issuer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., as guarantor, and The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee. This indenture, as so supplemented and as further supplemented thereafter, is referred to as the “GSFC 2008 indenture” in the accompanying prospectus supplement.

This section is meant as a summary and should be read in conjunction with the section entitled “Supplemental Terms of the Notes” on page S-13 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671. Please note that certain features described in the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671 are not applicable to the notes. This pricing supplement supersedes any conflicting provisions of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671.  

Key Terms

Issuer: GS Finance Corp.

Guarantor: The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Underlier: the S&P 500® Index (Bloomberg symbol, “SPX Index”), as published by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC

Specified currency:  U.S. dollars (“$”)

Face amount: each note will have a face amount of $10; $            in the aggregate for all the offered notes; the aggregate face amount of the offered notes may be increased if the issuer, at its sole option, decides to sell an additional amount of the offered notes on a date subsequent to the date of this pricing supplement

Denominations:  $10 and integral multiples of $10 in excess thereof

Minimum purchase amount: in connection with the initial offering of the notes, the minimum face amount of notes that may be purchased by any investor is $1,000

Purchase at amount other than face amount: the amount we will pay you at the stated maturity date for your notes will not be adjusted based on the issue price you pay for your notes, so if you acquire notes at a premium (or discount) to face amount and hold them to the stated maturity date, it could affect your investment in a number of ways. The return on your investment in such notes will be lower (or higher) than it would have been had you purchased the notes at face amount. Also, the stated threshold level would not offer the same reduction in downside exposure to the underlier as would be the case if you had purchased the notes at face amount. Additionally, the cap level (the level of the underlier at or above which the maximum settlement amount is payable) would be reached at a lower (or higher) percentage return than indicated below, relative to your initial investment. See “Additional Risk Factors Specific to Your Notes If You Purchase Your Notes at a Premium to Face Amount, the Return on Your Investment Will Be Lower Than the Return on Notes Purchased at Face Amount and the Impact of Certain Key Terms of the Notes Will be Negatively Affected” on page PS-16 of this pricing supplement.

PS-3

 


Supplemental discussion of U.S. federal income tax consequences: you will be obligated pursuant to the terms of the notes — in the absence of a change in law, an administrative determination or a judicial ruling to the contrary — to characterize each note for all tax purposes as a pre-paid derivative contract in respect of the underlier, as described under “Supplemental Discussion of U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences” on page PS-21 below. Pursuant to this approach, it is the opinion of Sidley Austin LLP that upon the sale, exchange or maturity of your notes, it would be reasonable for you to recognize capital gain or loss equal to the difference, if any, between the amount of cash you receive at such time and your tax basis in your notes.  Pursuant to Treasury regulations, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) withholding (as described in “United States Taxation—Taxation of Debt Securities—Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Withholding” in the accompanying prospectus) will generally apply to obligations that are issued on or after July 1, 2014; therefore, the notes will generally be subject to the FATCA withholding rules.

Cash settlement amount: on the stated maturity date for each $10 face amount of your notes, we will pay you on the stated maturity date an amount in cash equal to:

if the final underlier level is greater than or equal to the cap level, the maximum settlement amount;

if the final underlier level is greater than the initial underlier level but less than the cap level, the sum of (1) $10 plus (2) the product of (i) $10 times (ii) the multiplier times (iii) the underlier return;

if the final underlier level is (i) equal to the initial underlier level or (ii) less than the initial underlier level but not by more than the threshold amount (i.e., the final underlier level is greater than or equal to the threshold level), $10; or

if the final underlier level is less than the initial underlier level by more than the threshold amount (i.e., the final underlier level is less than the threshold level), the sum of (1) $10 plus (2) the product of (i) $10 times (ii) the threshold multiplier times (iii) the sum of the underlier return plus the threshold amount

Initial underlier level (set on the trade date): the closing level of the underlier on the trade date

Final underlier level: the closing level of the underlier on the determination date, except in the limited circumstances described under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Consequences of a Market Disruption Event or a Non-Trading Day” on page S-20 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671 and subject to adjustment as provided under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Discontinuance or Modification of an Underlier” on page S-24 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

Underlier return:  the quotient of (i) the final underlier level minus the initial underlier level divided by (ii) the initial underlier level, expressed as a percentage

Multiplier: 150.00%

Cap level (set on the trade date):  expected to be between approximately 116.333% and 117.60% of the initial underlier level. The cap level represents (i) the maximum return (as specified below) divided by the multiplier plus (ii) 100% and is the level of the underlier at or above which you will receive the maximum settlement amount. If the final underlier level is greater than the cap level (in which case the product of the underlier return times the multiplier is greater than the maximum return), you will not receive more than the maximum settlement amount. 

Maximum settlement amount (set on the trade date): expected to be between $12.45 and $12.64, which corresponds to an expected maximum return on the notes of between 24.50% and 26.40%

Threshold level: 90.00% of the initial underlier level

Threshold amount: 10.00%

Threshold multiplier:  the quotient of the initial underlier level divided by the threshold level, which equals approximately 1.1111%

Trade date: expected to be October 23, 2020

Original issue date (settlement date) (set on the trade date): expected to be October 28, 2020

PS-4

 


Determination date (set on the trade date): expected to be October 24, 2022, subject to adjustment as described under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes —Determination Date” on page S-15 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

Stated maturity date (set on the trade date):  expected to be October 27, 2022, subject to adjustment as described under "Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Stated Maturity Date” on page S-13 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

No interest:  the offered notes do not bear interest

No listing:  the offered notes will not be listed on any securities exchange or interdealer quotation system

No redemption:  the offered notes will not be subject to redemption right or price dependent redemption right

Closing level:  as described under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Special Calculation Provisions — Closing Level” on page S-29 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

Business day:  as described under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Special Calculation Provisions — Business Day” on page S-28 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

Trading day:  as described under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Special Calculation Provisions — Trading Day” on page S-28 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

Use of proceeds and hedging:  as described under “Use of Proceeds” and “Hedging” on page S-33 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

ERISA:  described under “Employee Retirement Income Security Act” on page S-34 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671

Supplemental plan of distribution; conflicts of interest:  as described under “Supplemental Plan of Distribution” on page S-35 of the accompanying general terms supplement 8,671 and “Plan of Distribution — Conflicts of Interest” on page 125 of the accompanying prospectus; GS Finance Corp. estimates that its share of the total offering expenses, excluding underwriting discounts and commissions, will be approximately $      .

GS Finance Corp. will sell to Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“GS&Co.”), and GS&Co. will purchase from GS Finance Corp., the aggregate face amount of the offered notes specified on the front cover of this pricing supplement. GS&Co. will sell the notes to UBS Financial Services Inc., the selling agent, at 100% of the face amount of the notes.  UBS Financial Services Inc. will sell the notes to fee-based advisory accounts for which it is an investment advisor and will not receive any portion of the underwriting discount or any sales commission relating to these sales. GS&Co. is an affiliate of GS Finance Corp. and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and, as such, will have a “conflict of interest” in this offering of notes within the meaning of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) Rule 5121. Consequently, this offering of notes will be conducted in compliance with the provisions of FINRA Rule 5121. GS&Co. will not be permitted to sell notes in this offering to an account over which it exercises discretionary authority without the prior specific written approval of the account holder.

In connection with the initial offering of the notes, the minimum face amount of notes that may be purchased by any investor is $1,000.

We expect to deliver the notes against payment therefor in New York, New York on October 28, 2020. Under Rule 15c6-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, trades in the secondary market generally are required to settle in two business days, unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, purchasers who wish to trade notes on any date prior to two business days before delivery will be required to specify alternative settlement arrangements to prevent a failed settlement.

We have been advised by GS&Co. that it intends to make a market in the notes. However, neither GS&Co. nor any of our other affiliates that makes a market is obligated to do so and any of them may stop doing so at any time without notice. No assurance can be given as to the liquidity or trading market for the notes.

Calculation agent:  GS&Co.

CUSIP no.: 36259Q252

PS-5

 


ISIN no.: US36259Q2527

FDIC: the notes are not bank deposits and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency, nor are they obligations of, or guaranteed by, a bank

 

PS-6

 


LIMITED EVENTS OF DEFAULT

The only events of default for the notes are (i) payment defaults that continue for a 30 day-grace period and (ii) certain insolvency events. No other breach or default under our senior debt indenture or the notes will result in an event of default for the notes or permit the trustee or holders to accelerate the maturity of the notes - that is, they will not be entitled to declare the face or principal amount of any notes to be immediately due and payable. See “Risks Relating to Regulatory Resolution Strategies and Long-Term Debt Requirements” and “Description of Debt Securities We May Offer — Default, Remedies and Waiver of Default — Securities Issued Under the 2008 GSFC Indenture” in the accompanying prospectus for further details

PS-7

 


HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLES

(Hypothetical terms only. Actual terms may vary.)

The following examples are provided for purposes of illustration only.  They should not be taken as an indication or prediction of future investment results and are intended merely to illustrate the impact that the various hypothetical underlier levels on the determination date could have on the cash settlement amount at maturity assuming all other variables remain constant.

The examples below are based on a range of final underlier levels that are entirely hypothetical; no one can predict what the underlier level will be on any day throughout the life of your notes, and no one can predict what the final underlier level  will be on the determination date. The underlier has been highly volatile in the past — meaning that the underlier level has changed considerably in relatively short periods — and its performance cannot be predicted for any future period.

The information in the following examples reflects hypothetical rates of return on the offered notes assuming that they are purchased on the original issue date at the face amount and held to the stated maturity date.  If you sell your notes in a secondary market prior to the stated maturity date, your return will depend upon the market value of your notes at the time of sale, which may be affected by a number of factors that are not reflected in the examples below such as interest rates, the volatility of the underlier, the creditworthiness of GS Finance Corp., as issuer, and the creditworthiness of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., as guarantor.  In addition, the estimated value of your notes at the time the terms of your notes are set on the trade date (as determined by reference to pricing models used by GS&Co.) is less than the original issue price of your notes.  For more information on the estimated value of your notes, see “Additional Risk Factors Specific to Your Notes — The Estimated Value of Your Notes At the Time the Terms of Your Notes Are Set On the Trade Date (as Determined By Reference to Pricing Models Used By GS&Co.) Is Less Than the Original Issue Price Of Your Notes” on page PS-12 of this pricing supplement.  The information in the examples also reflects the key terms and assumptions in the box below. The actual terms will be set on the trade date.

Key Terms and Assumptions

Face amount

$10

Multiplier

150.00%

Threshold level

90.00% of the initial underlier level

Cap level

approximately 116.333% of the initial underlier level

Maximum settlement amount

$12.45 (i.e., 24.50% maximum return)

Threshold multiplier

approximately 1.1111

Threshold amount

10.00%

Neither a market disruption event nor a non-trading day occurs on the originally scheduled determination date

No change in or affecting any of the underlier stocks or the method by which the underlier sponsor calculates the underlier

Notes purchased on original issue date at the face amount and held to the stated maturity date

 

Moreover, we have not yet set the initial underlier level that will serve as the baseline for determining the underlier return and the amount that we will pay on your notes at maturity. We will not do so until the trade date. As a result, the actual initial underlier level may differ substantially from the underlier level prior to the trade date.

For these reasons, the actual performance of the underlier over the life of your notes, as well as the amount payable at maturity, if any, may bear little relation to the hypothetical examples shown below or to the historical underlier levels shown elsewhere in this pricing supplement.  For information about the historical levels of the underlier during recent periods, see “The Underlier — Historical Closing Levels of the Underlier” below.  Before investing in the offered notes, you should consult publicly available

PS-8

 


information to determine the levels of the underlier between the date of this pricing supplement and the date of your purchase of the offered notes.

Also, the hypothetical examples shown below do not take into account the effects of applicable taxes.  Because of the U.S. tax treatment applicable to your notes, tax liabilities could affect the after-tax rate of return on your notes to a comparatively greater extent than the after-tax return on the underlier stocks.

The levels in the left column of the table below represent hypothetical final underlier levels and are expressed as percentages of the initial underlier level.  The amounts in the right column represent the hypothetical cash settlement amounts, based on the corresponding hypothetical final underlier level, and are expressed as percentages of the face amount of a note (rounded to the nearest one-thousandth of a percent). Thus, a hypothetical cash settlement amount of 100.000% means that the value of the cash payment that we would deliver for each $10 of the outstanding face amount of the offered notes on the stated maturity date would equal 100.000% of the face amount of a note, based on the corresponding hypothetical final underlier level and the assumptions noted above.

 

 

Hypothetical Final Underlier Level

(as Percentage of Initial Underlier Level)

Hypothetical Cash Settlement Amount

(as Percentage of Face Amount)

 

150.000%

124.500%

 

125.000%

124.500%

 

116.333%

124.500%

 

108.000%

112.000%

 

102.000%

103.000%

 

100.000%

100.000%

 

97.000%

100.000%

 

95.000%

100.000%

 

93.000%

100.000%

 

90.000%

100.000%

 

75.000%

83.333%

 

50.000%

55.556%

 

25.000%

27.778%

 

0.000%

0.000%

 

If, for example, the final underlier level were determined to be 25.000% of the initial underlier level, the cash settlement amount that we would deliver on your notes at maturity would be approximately 27.778% of the face amount of your notes, as shown in the table above.  As a result, if you purchased your notes on the original issue date at the face amount and held them to the stated maturity date, you would lose approximately 72.222% of your investment (if you purchased your notes at a premium to face amount you would lose a correspondingly higher percentage of your investment).  

In addition, if the final underlier level were determined to be 150.000% of the initial underlier level, the cash settlement amount that we would deliver on your notes at maturity would be capped at the maximum settlement amount (expressed as a percentage of the face amount), or 124.500% of each $10 face amount of your notes, as shown in the table above. In such case, the maximum return will be 24.50%, which represents the percentage difference between the maximum settlement amount of $12.45 and the face amount of $10. As a result, if you held your notes to the stated maturity date, you would not benefit from any increase in the final underlier level over approximately 116.333% (the cap level) of the initial underlier level. This is because the cap level represents (i) the maximum return of 24.50% divided by the multiplier of 1.5 plus (ii) 100%.  

The following chart also shows a graphical illustration of the hypothetical cash settlement amounts (expressed as a percentage of the face amount of your notes) that we would pay on your notes on the stated maturity date, if the final underlier level were any of the hypothetical levels shown on the horizontal axis. The chart shows that any hypothetical final underlier level (expressed as a percentage of the initial underlier level) of less than 90.000% (the section left of the 90.000% marker on the horizontal axis) would result in a hypothetical cash settlement amount of less than 100.000% of the face amount of your notes

PS-9

 


(the section below the 100.000% marker on the vertical axis) and, accordingly, in a loss of principal to the holder of the notes. In addition, the chart shows that any hypothetical final underlier level of greater than 100.000% (the section right of the 100.000% marker on the horizontal axis) but less than approximately 116.333% (the section left of the 116.333% marker on the horizontal axis) would result in the underlier return being enhanced by the multiplier. The chart also shows that any hypothetical final underlier level of greater than or equal to approximately 116.333% (the section right of the 116.333% marker on the horizontal axis) would result in a capped return on your investment. If the final underlier level declines, relative to the initial underlier level, by more than the threshold amount, you will lose approximately 1.1111% of the face amount of your notes for every 1% that such decline exceeds the threshold amount and you may lose your entire investment in the notes.

The cash settlement amounts shown above are entirely hypothetical; they are based on market prices for the underlier stocks that may not be achieved on the determination date and on assumptions that may prove to be erroneous.  The actual market value of your notes on the stated maturity date or at any other time, including any time you may wish to sell your notes, may bear little relation to the hypothetical cash settlement amounts shown above, and these amounts should not be viewed as an indication of the financial return on an investment in the offered notes.  The hypothetical cash settlement amounts on notes held to the stated maturity date in the examples above assume you purchased your notes at their face amount and have not been adjusted to reflect the actual issue price you pay for your notes. The return on your investment (whether positive or negative) in your notes will be affected by the amount you pay for your notes. If you purchase your notes for a price other than the face amount, the return on your investment will differ from, and may be significantly lower than, the hypothetical returns suggested by the above examples. Please read “Additional Risk Factors Specific to Your Notes — The Market Value of Your Notes May Be Influenced by Many Unpredictable Factors” on page PS-14 of this pricing supplement.

PS-10

 


Payments on the notes are economically equivalent to the amounts that would be paid on a combination of other instruments. For example, payments on the notes are economically equivalent to a combination of a bond bought by the holder and one or more options entered into between the holder and us. Therefore, the terms of the notes may be impacted by the various factors mentioned on page PS-13 in the section “Additional Risk Factors Specific to the Notes — The Market Value of Your Notes May Be Influenced by Many Unpredictable Factors’. The discussion in this paragraph does not modify or affect the terms of the notes or the U.S. federal income tax treatment of the notes, as described elsewhere in this pricing supplement.

We cannot predict the actual final underlier level or what the market value of your notes will be on any particular trading day, nor can we predict the relationship between the underlier level and the market value of your notes at any time prior to the stated maturity date.  The actual amount that you will receive, if any, at maturity and the rate of return on the offered notes will depend on the actual initial underlier level, cap level and maximum settlement amount, which we will set on the trade date, and the actual final underlier level determined by the calculation agent as described above.  Moreover, the assumptions on which the hypothetical returns are based may turn out to be inaccurate.  Consequently, the amount of cash to be paid in respect of your notes, if any, on the stated maturity date may be very different from the information reflected in the examples above.


PS-11

 


ADDITIONAL RISK FACTORS SPECIFIC TO YOUR NOTES

An investment in your notes is subject to the risks described below, as well as the risks and considerations described in the accompanying prospectus, in the accompanying prospectus supplement, under “Additional Risk Factors Specific to the Notes” in the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12 and under “Additional Risk Factors Specific to the Notes” in the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671.  You should carefully review these risks and considerations as well as the terms of the notes described herein and in the accompanying prospectus, the accompanying prospectus supplement, the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12 and the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671.  Your notes are a riskier investment than ordinary debt securities.  Also, your notes are not equivalent to investing directly in the underlier stocks, i.e., the stocks comprising the underlier to which your notes are linked.  You should carefully consider whether the offered notes are appropriate given your particular circumstances.

The Estimated Value of Your Notes At the Time the Terms of Your Notes Are Set On the Trade Date (as Determined By Reference to Pricing Models Used By GS&Co.) Is Less Than the Original Issue Price Of Your Notes

The original issue price for your notes exceeds the estimated value of your notes as of the time the terms of your notes are set on the trade date, as determined by reference to GS&Co.’s pricing models and taking into account our credit spreads. Such estimated value on the trade date is set forth above under “Estimated Value of Your Notes; after the trade date, the estimated value as determined by reference to these models will be affected by changes in market conditions, the creditworthiness of GS Finance Corp., as issuer, and the creditworthiness of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., as guarantor, and other relevant factors.  The price at which GS&Co. would initially buy or sell your notes (if GS&Co. makes a market, which it is not obligated to do), and the value that GS&Co. will initially use for account statements and otherwise, also exceeds the estimated value of your notes as determined by reference to these models. As agreed by GS&Co. and the distribution participants, this excess (i.e., the additional amount described under “Estimated Value of Your Notes”) will decline to zero on a straight line basis over the period set forth above under “Estimated Value of Your Notes”. Thereafter, if GS&Co. buys or sells your notes it will do so at prices that reflect the estimated value determined by reference to such pricing models at that time. The price at which GS&Co. will buy or sell your notes at any time also will reflect its then current bid and ask spread for similar sized trades of structured notes.

In estimating the value of your notes as of the time the terms of your notes are set on the trade date, as disclosed above under “Estimated Value of Your Notes”, GS&Co.’s pricing models consider certain variables, including principally our credit spreads, interest rates (forecasted, current and historical rates), volatility, price-sensitivity analysis and the time to maturity of the notes.  These pricing models are proprietary and rely in part on certain assumptions about future events, which may prove to be incorrect. As a result, the actual value you would receive if you sold your notes in the secondary market, if any, to others may differ, perhaps materially, from the estimated value of your notes determined by reference to our models due to, among other things, any differences in pricing models or assumptions used by others.  See “— The Market Value of Your Notes May Be Influenced by Many Unpredictable Factors” below.

The difference between the estimated value of your notes as of the time the terms of your notes are set on the trade date and the original issue price is a result of certain factors, including principally the underwriting discount and commissions, the expenses incurred in creating, documenting and marketing the notes, and an estimate of the difference between the amounts we pay to GS&Co. and the amounts GS&Co. pays to us in connection with your notes. We pay to GS&Co. amounts based on what we would pay to holders of a non-structured note with a similar maturity.  In return for such payment, GS&Co. pays to us the amounts we owe under your notes.  

In addition to the factors discussed above, the value and quoted price of your notes at any time will reflect many factors and cannot be predicted.  If GS&Co. makes a market in the notes, the price quoted by GS&Co. would reflect any changes in market conditions and other relevant factors, including any deterioration in our creditworthiness or perceived creditworthiness or the creditworthiness or perceived creditworthiness of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. These changes may adversely affect the value of your notes, including the price you may receive for your notes in any market making transaction. To the extent that GS&Co. makes a market in the notes, the quoted price will reflect the estimated value determined by reference to GS&Co.’s pricing models at that time, plus or minus its then current bid and

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ask spread for similar sized trades of structured notes (and subject to the declining excess amount described above).  

Furthermore, if you sell your notes, you will likely be charged a commission for secondary market transactions, or the price will likely reflect a dealer discount.  This commission or discount will further reduce the proceeds you would receive for your notes in a secondary market sale.

There is no assurance that GS&Co. or any other party will be willing to purchase your notes at any price and, in this regard, GS&Co. is not obligated to make a market in the notes. See “— Your Notes May Not Have an Active Trading Market” below.

The Notes Are Subject to the Credit Risk of the Issuer and the Guarantor

Although the return on the notes will be based on the performance of the underlier, the payment of any amount due on the notes is subject to the credit risk of GS Finance Corp., as issuer of the notes, and the credit risk of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., as guarantor of the notes. The notes are our unsecured obligations.  Investors are dependent on our ability to pay all amounts due on the notes, and therefore investors are subject to our credit risk and to changes in the market’s view of our creditworthiness. Similarly, investors are dependent on the ability of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., as guarantor of the notes, to pay all amounts due on the notes, and therefore are also subject to its credit risk and to changes in the market’s view of its creditworthiness. See “Description of the Notes We May Offer — Information About Our Medium-Term Notes, Series F Program — How the Notes Rank Against Other Debt” on page S-5 of the accompanying prospectus supplement and “Description of Debt Securities We May Offer — Guarantee by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.” on page 68 of the accompanying prospectus.

The Amount Payable on Your Notes Is Not Linked to the Level of the Underlier at Any Time Other than the Determination Date

The final underlier level will be based on the closing level of the underlier on the determination date (subject to adjustment as described elsewhere in this pricing supplement). Therefore, if the closing level of the underlier dropped precipitously on the determination date, the cash settlement amount for your notes may be significantly less than it would have been had the cash settlement amount been linked to the closing level of the underlier prior to such drop in the level of the underlier.  Although the actual level of the underlier on the stated maturity date or at other times during the life of your notes may be higher than the final underlier level, you will not benefit from the closing level of the underlier at any time other than on the determination date.

You May Lose Your Entire Investment in the Notes

You can lose your entire investment in the notes. The cash payment on your notes, if any, on the stated maturity date will be based on the performance of the S&P 500® Index as measured from the initial underlier level set on the trade date to the closing level on the determination date. If the final underlier level is less than the threshold level (i.e., the final underlier level has declined, relative to the initial underlier level, by more than the threshold amount), you will have a loss for each $10 of the face amount of your notes equal to the product of the threshold multiplier times the sum of the underlier return plus the threshold amount times $10. As specified elsewhere in this pricing supplement, if the final underlier level declines, relative to the initial underlier level, by more than the threshold amount, you will lose approximately 1.1111% of the face amount of your notes for every 1% that such decline exceeds the threshold amount. Thus, you may lose your entire investment in the notes, which would include any premium to face amount you paid when you purchased the notes.

Also, the application of the threshold amount applies only at maturity and the market price of your notes prior to the stated maturity date may be significantly lower than the purchase price you pay for your notes.  Consequently, if you sell your notes before the stated maturity date, you may receive far less than the amount of your investment in the notes even if the level of the underlier is not below the threshold level at the time of sale.

Your Notes Do Not Bear Interest

You will not receive any interest payments on your notes. As a result, even if the cash settlement amount payable for your notes on the stated maturity date exceeds the face amount of your notes, the overall return you earn on your notes may be less than you would have earned by investing in a non-indexed debt security of comparable maturity that bears interest at a prevailing market rate.

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The Potential for the Value of Your Notes to Increase Will Be Limited

Your ability to participate in any change in the value of the underlier over the life of your notes will be limited. The maximum settlement amount will limit the cash settlement amount you may receive for each of your notes at maturity, no matter how much the level of the underlier may rise beyond the cap level over the life of your notes. Accordingly, the amount payable for each of your notes may be significantly less than it would have been had you invested directly in the underlier.

You Have No Shareholder Rights or Rights to Receive Any Underlier Stock

Investing in your notes will not make you a holder of any of the underlier stocks. Neither you nor any other holder or owner of your notes will have any rights with respect to the underlier stocks, including any voting rights, any right to receive dividends or other distributions, any rights to make a claim against the underlier stocks or any other rights of a holder of the underlier stocks. Your notes will be paid in cash and you will have no right to receive delivery of any underlier stocks.

Your Notes May Not Have an Active Trading Market

Your notes will not be listed or displayed on any securities exchange or included in any interdealer market quotation system, and as a result there may be little or no secondary market for your notes.  Even if a secondary market for your notes develops, it may not provide significant liquidity and we expect that transaction costs in any secondary market would be high.  As a result, the difference between bid and asked prices for your notes in any secondary market could be substantial.

A Lower Threshold Level May Reflect Greater Expected Volatility of the Underlier, and Greater Expected Volatility Generally Indicates An Increased Risk of Declines in the Level of the Underlier and, Potentially, a Significant Loss at Maturity

The economic terms for the notes, including the threshold level, are based, in part, on the expected volatility of the underlier at the time the terms of the notes are set. “Volatility” refers to the frequency and magnitude of changes in the level of the underlier.

Higher expected volatility with respect to the underlier as of the trade date generally indicates a greater expectation as of that date that the final underlier level could ultimately be less than the threshold level on the determination date, which would result in a loss of a significant portion or all of your investment in the notes. At the time the terms of the notes are set, higher expected volatility will generally be reflected in a lower threshold level, as compared to otherwise comparable notes issued by the same issuer with the same maturity but with one or more different underliers. However, there is no guarantee that the lower threshold level set for your notes on the trade date will adequately compensate you, from a risk-potential reward perspective, for the greater risk of losing some or all of your investment in the notes. 

A relatively lower threshold level (as compared to otherwise comparable securities), which would increase the buffer against the loss of principal, may generally indicate an increased risk that the level of the underlier will decrease substantially.  This would result in a significant loss at maturity if the final underlier level is less than the threshold level.  Further, a relatively lower threshold level may not indicate that the notes have a greater likelihood of a return of principal at maturity based on the performance of the underlier.

You should not take the historical volatility of the underlier as an indication of its future volatility. You should be willing to accept the downside market risk of the underlier and the potential to lose some or all of your investment at maturity.

The Market Value of Your Notes May Be Influenced by Many Unpredictable Factors

The following factors, among others, many of which are beyond our control, may influence the market value of your notes:

the volatility — i.e., the frequency and magnitude of changes — of the levels of the underlier;

the level of the underlier, the multiplier and/or the threshold level;

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the dividend rates of the underlier stocks;

economic, financial, regulatory, political, military, public health and other events that affect stock markets generally and the underlier stocks, and which may affect the closing level of the underlier;

interest rates and yield rates in the market;

the time remaining until your notes mature; and

our creditworthiness, whether actual or perceived, and including actual or anticipated upgrades or downgrades in our credit ratings or changes in other credit measures.

These factors may influence the market value of your notes if you sell your notes before maturity, including the price you may receive for your notes in any market making transaction.  The threshold amount and multiplier apply only at maturity. If you sell your notes prior to maturity, you may receive less than the face amount of your notes and less than the amount payable at maturity.  You cannot predict the future performance of the underlier based on its historical performance.

As Calculation Agent, GS&Co. Will Have the Authority to Make Determinations that Could Affect the Value of Your Notes, When Your Notes Mature and the Amount You Receive at Maturity

As calculation agent for your notes, GS&Co. will have discretion in making various determinations that affect your notes, including determining the final underlier level on the determination date, which we will use to determine the amount we must pay on the stated maturity date; determining whether to postpone the determination date because of a market disruption event or a non-trading day; the stated maturity date; the default amount and any amount payable on your notes.  The calculation agent also has discretion in making certain adjustments relating to a discontinuation or modification of the underlier.  See “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Discontinuance or Modification of an Underlier” on page S-24 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671.  The exercise of this discretion by GS&Co. could adversely affect the value of your notes and may present GS&Co. with a conflict of interest.  We may change the calculation agent at any time without notice and GS&Co. may resign as calculation agent at any time upon 60 days’ written notice to us.

The Policies of the Underlier Sponsor and Changes That Affect the Underlier or the Underlier Stocks Could Affect the Payment Amount on Your Notes and Their Market Value

The policies of the underlier sponsor concerning the calculation of the level of the underlier, additions, deletions or substitutions of underlier stocks and the manner in which changes affecting the underlier stocks or their issuers, such as stock dividends, reorganizations or mergers, are reflected in the level of the underlier could affect the level of the underlier and, therefore, the cash settlement amount on your notes on the stated maturity date and the market value of your notes before that date.  The cash settlement amount on your notes and their market value could also be affected if the underlier sponsor changes these policies, for example, by changing the manner in which it calculates the level of the underlier or if the underlier sponsor discontinues or suspends calculation or publication of the level of the underlier, in which case it may become difficult to determine the market value of your notes.  If events such as these occur, or if the closing level of the underlier is not available on the determination date because of a market disruption event or for any other reason, the calculation agent — which initially will be GS&Co., our affiliate — may determine the closing level of the underlier on the determination date — and thus the cash settlement amount on the stated maturity date — in a manner it considers appropriate, in its sole discretion.  We describe the discretion that the calculation agent will have in determining the closing level of the underlier on the determination date and the cash settlement amount on your notes more fully under “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Discontinuance or Modification of an Underlier” on page S-24 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671 and “Supplemental Terms of the Notes — Role of Calculation Agent” on page S-25 of the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671.

The Return on Your Notes Will Not Reflect Any Dividends Paid on the Underlier Stocks

The underlier sponsor calculates the level of the underlier by reference to the prices of the stocks included in the underlier, which we refer to as underlier stocks, without taking account of the value of

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dividends paid on those stocks.  Therefore, the return on your notes will not reflect the return you would realize if you actually owned the stocks included in the underlier and received the dividends paid on those stocks.  You will not receive any dividends that may be paid on any of the underlier stocks by the underlier stock issuers.  See “—You Have No Shareholder Rights or Rights to Receive Any Underlier Stock” above.

You Should Expect That Goldman Sachs Personnel Will Take Research Positions, or Otherwise Make Recommendations, Provide Investment Advice or Market Color or Encourage Trading Strategies That Might Negatively Impact Investors in the Notes

Goldman Sachs and its personnel, including its sales and trading, investment research and investment management personnel, regularly make investment recommendations, provide market color or trading ideas, or publish or express independent views in respect of a wide range of markets, issuers, securities and instruments.  They regularly implement, or recommend to clients that they implement, various investment strategies relating to these markets, issuers, securities and instruments.  These strategies include, for example, buying or selling credit protection against a default or other event involving an issuer or financial instrument.  Any of these recommendations and views may be negative with respect to the underlier or underlier stocks or other securities or instruments similar to or linked to the foregoing or result in trading strategies that have a negative impact on the market for any such securities or instruments, particularly in illiquid markets.  In addition, you should expect that personnel in the trading and investing businesses of Goldman Sachs will have or develop independent views of the underlier or underlier stocks, the relevant industry or other market trends, which may not be aligned with the views and objectives of investors in the notes.

We May Sell an Additional Aggregate Face Amount of the Notes at a Different Issue Price

At our sole option, we may decide to sell an additional aggregate face amount of the notes subsequent to the date of this pricing supplement.  The issue price of the notes in the subsequent sale may differ substantially (higher or lower) from the original issue price you paid as provided on the cover of this pricing supplement.

If You Purchase Your Notes at a Premium to Face Amount, the Return on Your Investment Will Be Lower Than the Return on Notes Purchased at Face Amount and the Impact of Certain Key Terms of the Notes Will be Negatively Affected

The cash settlement amount will not be adjusted based on the issue price you pay for the notes. If you purchase notes at a price that differs from the face amount of the notes, then the return on your investment in such notes held to the stated maturity date will differ from, and may be substantially less than, the return on notes purchased at face amount. If you purchase your notes at a premium to face amount and hold them to the stated maturity date the return on your investment in the notes will be lower than it would have been had you purchased the notes at face amount or a discount to face amount. In addition, the impact of the threshold level on the return on your investment will depend upon the price you pay for your notes relative to face amount.  For example, if you purchase your notes at a premium to the face amount, the threshold amount, while still reducing the downside exposure to the underlier, will allow a greater percentage decrease in your investment in the notes than would have been the case for notes purchased at face amount or a discount to face amount. In addition, the impact of the cap level on the return on your investment will depend upon the price you pay for your notes relative to face amount. For example, if you purchase your notes at a premium to face amount, the cap level will only permit a lower percentage increase in your investment in the notes than would have been the case for notes purchased at face amount or a discount to face amount. In such cases, your return will be less than the maximum return.

Anticipated Hedging Activities by Goldman Sachs or Our Distributors May Negatively Impact Investors in the Notes and Cause Our Interests and Those of Our Clients and Counterparties to be Contrary to Those of Investors in the Notes

Goldman Sachs expects to hedge our obligations under the notes by purchasing listed or over-the-counter options, futures and/or other instruments linked to the underlier.  Goldman Sachs also expects to adjust the hedge by, among other things, purchasing or selling any of the foregoing, and perhaps other instruments linked to the underlier or the underlier stocks, at any time and from time to time, and to unwind the hedge by selling any of the foregoing on or before the determination date for your notes.  

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Alternatively, Goldman Sachs may hedge all or part of our obligations under the notes with unaffiliated distributors of the notes which we expect will undertake similar market activity.   Goldman Sachs may also enter into, adjust and unwind hedging transactions relating to other underlier-linked notes whose returns are linked to changes in the level of the underlier or the underlier stocks, as applicable.  

In addition to entering into such transactions itself, or distributors entering into such transactions, Goldman Sachs may structure such transactions for its clients or counterparties, or otherwise advise or assist clients or counterparties in entering into such transactions.  These activities may be undertaken to achieve a variety of objectives, including:  permitting other purchasers of the notes or other securities to hedge their investment in whole or in part; facilitating transactions for other clients or counterparties that may have business objectives or investment strategies that are inconsistent with or contrary to those of investors in the notes; hedging the exposure of Goldman Sachs to the notes including any interest in the notes that it reacquires or retains as part of the offering process, through its market-making activities or otherwise; enabling Goldman Sachs to comply with its internal risk limits or otherwise manage firmwide, business unit or product risk; and/or enabling Goldman Sachs to take directional views as to relevant markets on behalf of itself or its clients or counterparties that are inconsistent with or contrary to the views and objectives of the investors in the notes.  

Any of these hedging or other activities may adversely affect the prices of the index stock- directly or indirectly- and therefore the market value of your notes and the amount we will pay on your notes, if any, at maturity. In addition, you should expect that these transactions will cause Goldman Sachs or its clients, counterparties or distributors to have economic interests and incentives that do not align with, and that may be directly contrary to, those of an investor in the notes. Neither Goldman Sachs nor any distributor will have any obligation to take, refrain from taking or cease taking any action with respect to these transactions based on the potential effect on an investor in the notes, and may receive substantial returns on hedging or other activities while the value of your notes declines. In addition, if the distributor from which you purchase notes is to conduct hedging activities in connection with the notes, that distributor may otherwise profit in connection with such hedging activities and such profit, if any, will be in addition to the compensation that the distributor receives for the sale of the notes to you. You should be aware that the potential to earn fees in connection with hedging activities may create a further incentive for the distributor to sell the notes to you in addition to the compensation they would receive for the sale of the notes.

The Tax Consequences of an Investment in Your Notes Are Uncertain

The tax consequences of an investment in your notes are uncertain, both as to the timing and character of any inclusion in income in respect of your notes.

The Internal Revenue Service announced on December 7, 2007 that it is considering issuing guidance regarding the tax treatment of an instrument such as your notes, and any such guidance could adversely affect the value and the tax treatment of your notes. Among other things, the Internal Revenue Service may decide to require the holders to accrue ordinary income on a current basis and recognize ordinary income on payment at maturity, and could subject non-U.S. investors to withholding tax. Furthermore, in 2007, legislation was introduced in Congress that, if enacted, would have required holders that acquired instruments such as your notes after the bill was enacted to accrue interest income over the term of such instruments even though there will be no interest payments over the term of such instruments. It is not possible to predict whether a similar or identical bill will be enacted in the future, or whether any such bill would affect the tax treatment of your notes. We describe these developments in more detail under “Supplemental Discussion of U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences – United States Holders – Possible Change in Law” below. You should consult your tax advisor about this matter. Except to the extent otherwise provided by law, GS Finance Corp. intends to continue treating the notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes in accordance with the treatment described under “Supplemental Discussion of U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences” on page PS-21 below unless and until such time as Congress, the Treasury Department or the Internal Revenue Service determine that some other treatment is more appropriate. Please also consult your tax advisor concerning the U.S. federal income tax and any other applicable tax consequences to you of owning your notes in your particular circumstances.

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Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Withholding May Apply to Payments on Your Notes, Including as a Result of the Failure of the Bank or Broker Through Which You Hold the Notes to Provide Information to Tax Authorities

Please see the discussion under “United States Taxation — Taxation of Debt Securities — Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Withholding” in the accompanying prospectus for a description of the applicability of FATCA to payments made on your notes.


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THE UNDERLIER

The S&P 500® Index includes a representative sample of 500 companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy and is intended to provide a performance benchmark for the large-cap U.S. equity markets. For more details about the underlier, the underlier sponsor and license agreement between the underlier sponsor and the issuer, see “The Underliers - S&P 500® Index” on page S-112 of the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12.

 

The S&P 500® Index is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, and has been licensed for use by GS Finance Corp. (“Goldman”). Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC; Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”) and these trademarks have been licensed for use by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and sublicensed for certain purposes by Goldman. Goldman’s notes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC or any of their respective affiliates and neither S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC or any of their respective affiliates make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such notes.

Historical Closing Levels of the Underlier

The closing level of the underlier has fluctuated in the past and may, in the future, experience significant fluctuations. In particular, the underlier has recently experienced extreme and unusual volatility. Any historical upward or downward trend in the closing level of the underlier during the period shown below is not an indication that the underlier is more or less likely to increase or decrease at any time during the life of your notes.

You should not take the historical levels of the underlier as an indication of the future performance of the underlier, including because of the recent volatility described above.  We cannot give you any assurance that the future performance of the underlier or the underlier stocks will result in your receiving an amount greater than the outstanding face amount of your notes on the stated maturity date.

Neither we nor any of our affiliates make any representation to you as to the performance of the underlier.  Before investing in the offered notes, you should consult publicly available information to determine the levels of the underlier between the date of this pricing supplement and the date of your purchase of the offered notes and, given the recent volatility described above, you should pay particular attention to recent levels of the underlier. The actual performance of the underlier over the life of the offered notes, as well as the cash settlement amount, may bear little relation to the historical levels shown below.

The graph below shows the daily historical closing levels of the underlier from January 1, 2015 through October 20, 2020. As a result, the following graph does not reflect the global financial crisis which began in 2008, which had a materially negative impact on the price of most equity securities and, as a result, the level of most equity indices. We obtained the closing levels in the graph below from Bloomberg Financial Services, without independent verification.

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Historical Performance of the S&P 500® Index

 

 

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SUPPLEMENTAL DISCUSSION OF U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES

The following section supplements the discussion of U.S. federal income taxation in the accompanying prospectus supplement.

The following section is the opinion of Sidley Austin llp, counsel to GS Finance Corp. and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. In addition, it is the opinion of Sidley Austin llp that the characterization of the notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes that will be required under the terms of the notes, as discussed below, is a reasonable interpretation of current law.

This section does not apply to you if you are a member of a class of holders subject to special rules, such as:

a dealer in securities or currencies;

a trader in securities that elects to use a mark-to-market method of accounting for your securities holdings;

a bank;

a life insurance company;

a tax exempt organization;

a regulated investment company;

a partnership;

an accrual method taxpayer subject to special tax accounting rules as a result of its use of financial statements;

a person that owns a note as a hedge or that is hedged against interest rate risks;

a person that owns a note as part of a straddle or conversion transaction for tax purposes; or

a United States holder (as defined below) whose functional currency for tax purposes is not the U.S. dollar.

Although this section is based on the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, its legislative history, existing and proposed regulations under the Internal Revenue Code, published rulings and court decisions, all as currently in effect, no statutory, judicial or administrative authority directly addresses how your notes should be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and as a result, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of your investment in your notes are uncertain. Moreover, these laws are subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis.

You should consult your tax advisor concerning the U.S. federal income tax and any other applicable tax consequences of your investments in the notes, including the application of state, local or other tax laws and the possible effects of changes in federal or other tax laws.

United States Holders

This section applies to you only if you are a United States holder that holds your notes as a capital asset for tax purposes. You are a United States holder if you are a beneficial owner of each of your notes and you are:

a citizen or resident of the United States;

a domestic corporation;

an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income tax regardless of its source; or

a trust if a United States court can exercise primary supervision over the trust’s administration and one or more United States persons are authorized to control all substantial decisions of the trust.

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Tax Treatment. You will be obligated pursuant to the terms of the notes – in the absence of a change in law, an administrative determination or a judicial ruling to the contrary – to characterize each note for all tax purposes as a pre-paid derivative contract in respect of the underlier. Except as otherwise stated below, the discussion herein assumes that the notes will be so treated.

Upon the sale, exchange or maturity of your notes, you should recognize capital gain or loss equal to the difference, if any, between the amount of cash you receive at such time and your tax basis in your notes. Your tax basis in the notes will generally be equal to the amount that you paid for the notes. If you hold your notes for more than one year, the gain or loss generally will be long-term capital gain or loss. If you hold your notes for one year or less, the gain or loss generally will be short-term capital gain or loss. Short-term capital gains are generally subject to tax at the marginal tax rates applicable to ordinary income.

No statutory, judicial or administrative authority directly discusses how your notes should be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, the U.S. federal income tax consequences of your investment in the notes are uncertain and alternative characterizations are possible. Accordingly, we urge you to consult your tax advisor in determining the tax consequences of an investment in your notes in your particular circumstances, including the application of state, local or other tax laws and the possible effects of changes in federal or other tax laws.

Alternative Treatments. There is no judicial or administrative authority discussing how your notes should be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Therefore, the Internal Revenue Service might assert that a treatment other than that described above is more appropriate. For example, the Internal Revenue Service could treat your notes as a single debt instrument subject to special rules governing contingent payment debt instruments. Under those rules, the amount of interest you are required to take into account for each accrual period would be determined by constructing a projected payment schedule for the notes and applying rules similar to those for accruing original issue discount on a hypothetical noncontingent debt instrument with that projected payment schedule. This method is applied by first determining the comparable yield – i.e., the yield at which we would issue a noncontingent fixed rate debt instrument with terms and conditions similar to your notes – and then determining a payment schedule as of the issue date that would produce the comparable yield. These rules may have the effect of requiring you to include interest in income in respect of your notes prior to your receipt of cash attributable to that income.

If the rules governing contingent payment debt instruments apply, any gain you recognize upon the sale, exchange or maturity of your notes would be treated as ordinary interest income. Any loss you recognize at that time would be treated as ordinary loss to the extent of interest you included as income in the current or previous taxable years in respect of your notes, and, thereafter, as capital loss.

If the rules governing contingent payment debt instruments apply, special rules would apply to a person who purchases notes at a price other than the adjusted issue price as determined for tax purposes.

It is also possible that your notes could be treated in the manner described above, except that any gain or loss that you recognize at maturity would be treated as ordinary gain or loss. You should consult your tax advisor as to the tax consequences of such characterization and any possible alternative characterizations of your notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

It is possible that the Internal Revenue Service could seek to characterize your notes in a manner that results in tax consequences to you different from those described above and you should consult your tax advisor with respect to the tax treatment of the notes.

Possible Change in Law

On December 7, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service released a notice stating that the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department are actively considering issuing guidance regarding the proper U.S. federal income tax treatment of an instrument such as your notes, including whether the holder of an instrument such as your notes should be required to accrue ordinary income on a current basis and whether gain or loss should be ordinary or capital. It is not possible to determine what guidance they will ultimately issue, if any. It is possible, however, that under such guidance, holders of the notes will ultimately be required to accrue income currently and this could be applied on a retroactive basis. The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department are also considering other relevant issues, including whether foreign holders of such instruments should be subject to withholding tax on any

PS-22

 


deemed income accruals, and whether the special “constructive ownership rules” of Section 1260 of the Internal Revenue Code might be applied to such instruments. Except to the extent otherwise provided by law, GS Finance Corp. intends to continue treating the notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes in accordance with the treatment described above unless and until such time as Congress, the Treasury Department or the Internal Revenue Service determine that some other treatment is more appropriate.

Furthermore, in 2007, legislation was introduced in Congress that, if enacted, would have required holders that acquired instruments such as your notes after the bill was enacted to accrue interest income over the term of such instruments even though there will be no interest payments over the term of such instruments. It is not possible to predict whether a similar or identical bill will be enacted in the future, or whether any such bill would affect the tax treatment of your notes.

It is impossible to predict what any such legislation or administrative or regulatory guidance might provide, and whether the effective date of any legislation or guidance will affect notes that were issued before the date that such legislation or guidance is issued. You are urged to consult your tax advisor as to the possibility that any legislative or administrative action may adversely affect the tax treatment of your notes.

Backup Withholding and Information Reporting

You will be subject to generally applicable information reporting and backup withholding requirements as discussed in the accompanying prospectus under “United States Taxation — Taxation of Debt Securities — Backup Withholding and Information Reporting — United States Holders” with respect to payments on your notes and, notwithstanding that we do not intend to treat the notes as debt for tax purposes, we intend to backup withhold on such payments with respect to your notes unless you comply with the requirements necessary to avoid backup withholding on debt instruments (in which case you will not be subject to such backup withholding) as set forth under “United States Taxation — Taxation of Debt Securities — United States Holders” in the accompanying prospectus.

Please see the discussion under “United States Taxation — Taxation of Debt Securities — Backup Withholding and Information Reporting—United States Holders” in the accompanying prospectus for a description of the applicability of the backup withholding and information reporting rules to payments made on your notes.

United States Alien Holders

This section applies to you only if you are a United States alien holder. You are a United States alien holder if you are the beneficial owner of notes and are, for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

a nonresident alien individual;

a foreign corporation; or

an estate or trust that in either case is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net income basis on income or gain from the notes.

You will be subject to generally applicable information reporting and backup withholding requirements as discussed in the accompanying prospectus under “United States Taxation — Taxation of Debt Securities — Backup Withholding and Information Reporting — United States Alien Holders” with respect to payments on your notes at maturity and, notwithstanding that we do not intend to treat the notes as debt for tax purposes, we intend to backup withhold on such payments with respect to your notes unless you comply with the requirements necessary to avoid backup withholding on debt instruments (in which case you will not be subject to such backup withholding) as set forth under “United States Taxation — Taxation of Debt Securities — United States Alien Holders” in the accompanying prospectus.

As discussed above, alternative characterizations of the notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes are possible. Should an alternative characterization of the notes, by reason of a change or clarification of the law, by regulation or otherwise, cause payments at maturity with respect to the notes to become subject to withholding tax, we will withhold tax at the applicable statutory rate and we will not make payments of any additional amounts. Prospective United States alien holders of the notes should consult their tax advisor in this regard.

PS-23

 


Furthermore, on December 7, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2008-2 soliciting comments from the public on various issues, including whether instruments such as your notes should be subject to withholding. It is therefore possible that rules will be issued in the future, possibly with retroactive effect, that would cause payments on your notes at maturity to be subject to withholding, even if you comply with certification requirements as to your foreign status.

In addition, the Treasury Department has issued regulations under which amounts paid or deemed paid on certain financial instruments (“871(m) financial instruments”) that are treated as attributable to U.S.-source dividends could be treated, in whole or in part depending on the circumstances, as a “dividend equivalent” payment that is subject to tax at a rate of 30% (or a lower rate under an applicable treaty), which in the case of any amounts you receive upon the sale, exchange or maturity of your notes, could be collected via withholding. If these regulations were to apply to the notes, we may be required to withhold such taxes if any U.S.-source dividends are paid on the stocks included in the underlier during the term of the notes. We could also require you to make certifications (e.g., an applicable Internal Revenue Service Form W-8) prior to the maturity of the notes in order to avoid or minimize withholding obligations, and we could withhold accordingly (subject to your potential right to claim a refund from the Internal Revenue Service) if such certifications were not received or were not satisfactory. If withholding was required, we would not be required to pay any additional amounts with respect to amounts so withheld. These regulations generally will apply to 871(m) financial instruments (or a combination of financial instruments treated as having been entered into in connection with each other) issued (or significantly modified and treated as retired and reissued) on or after January 1, 2023, but will also apply to certain 871(m) financial instruments (or a combination of financial instruments treated as having been entered into in connection with each other) that have a delta (as defined in the applicable Treasury regulations) of one and are issued (or significantly modified and treated as retired and reissued) on or after January 1, 2017.  In addition, these regulations will not apply to financial instruments that reference a “qualified index” (as defined in the regulations).  We have determined that, as of the issue date of your notes, your notes will not be subject to withholding under these rules.  In certain limited circumstances, however, you should be aware that it is possible for United States alien holders to be liable for tax under these rules with respect to a combination of transactions treated as having been entered into in connection with each other even when no withholding is required.  You should consult your tax advisor concerning these regulations, subsequent official guidance and regarding any other possible alternative characterizations of your notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Withholding

Pursuant to Treasury regulations, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) withholding (as described in “United States Taxation—Taxation of Debt Securities—Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Withholding” in the accompanying prospectus) will generally apply to obligations that are issued on or after July 1, 2014; therefore, the notes will generally be subject to the FATCA withholding rules.

 

PS-24

 


We have not authorized anyone to provide any information or to make any representations other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this pricing supplement, the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671, the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12, the accompanying prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.  We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you.  This pricing supplement, the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671, the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12, the accompanying prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is an offer to sell only the notes offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so.  The information contained in this pricing supplement, the accompanying general terms supplement no. 8,671, the accompanying underlier supplement no. 12, the accompanying prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is current only as of the respective dates of such documents.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pricing Supplement

 

 

Page

Summary Information

PS-3

Limited Events of Default

PS-7

Hypothetical Examples

PS-8

Additional Risk Factors Specific to Your Notes

PS-12

The Underlier

PS-19

Supplemental Discussion of U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences

PS-21

 

General Terms Supplement No. 8,671 dated July 1, 2020

Additional Risk Factors Specific to the Notes

S-4

Supplemental Terms of the Notes

S-13

Use of Proceeds

S-33

Hedging

S-33

Employee Retirement Income Security Act

S-34

Supplemental Plan of Distribution

S-35

     Conflicts of Interest

S-37

 

 

Underlier Supplement No. 12 dated September 25, 2020

Additional Risk Factors Specific to the Notes

S-2

The Underliers

S-17

Descriptions of the Indices

 

Dow Jones Industrial Average®

S-20

Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index

S-25

EURO STOXX 50® Index

S-36

FTSE® 100 Index

S-43

Hang Seng China Enterprises Index

S-50

MSCI Indices

S-56

NASDAQ-100 Index®

S-69

NASDAQ-100 Technology Sector Index

S-77

Nikkei 225

S-84

Russell 2000® Index

S-89

S&P/ASX 200 Index

S-98

S&P 500® Daily Risk Control 10% USD Excess Return Index

S-107

S&P 500® Index

S-112

S&P MidCap 400® Index

S-120

Swiss Market Index

S-129

TOPIX

S-134

Descriptions of the Exchange-Traded Funds

 

Financial Select Sector SPDR® Fund

S-140

iShares® MSCI EAFE ETF

S-147

iShares® MSCI Emerging Markets ETF

S-151

iShares® Russell 1000 Value ETF

S-157

SPDR® S&P® Biotech ETF

S-169

SPDR® S&P® Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF

S-176

 

 

Prospectus Supplement dated July 1, 2020

Use of Proceeds

S-2

Description of Notes We May Offer

S-3

Considerations Relating to Indexed Notes

S-11

United States Taxation

S-14

Employee Retirement Income Security Act

S-15

Supplemental Plan of Distribution

S-16

Validity of the Notes and Guarantees

S-18

 

Prospectus dated July 1, 2020

Available Information

2

Prospectus Summary

4

Risks Relating to Regulatory Resolution Strategies and Long-Term Debt Requirements

9

Use of Proceeds

14

Description of Debt Securities We May Offer 

15

Description of Warrants We May Offer

71

Description of Units We May Offer

87

GS Finance Corp

92

Legal Ownership and Book-Entry Issuance

94

Considerations Relating to Indexed Securities

103

Considerations Relating to Securities Denominated or Payable in or Linked to a Non-U.S. Dollar Currency

104

United States Taxation

107

Plan of Distribution

122

Conflicts of Interest

125

Employee Retirement Income Security Act

126

Validity of the Securities and Guarantees

127

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

127

Cautionary Statement Pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

128

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

GS Finance Corp.

 

 

 

Capped Airbag GEARS due

 

guaranteed by

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC

 

UBS Financial Services Inc.

Selling Agent

 

 

 

 

 

 

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