After a meeting involving partners on both sides of the Atlantic, the bank put out a terse statement in the early hours of this morning putting to rest any hopes of pursuing the float for the foreseeable future.
The decision is the clearest sign yet that the opinion on Wall Street is now that the current market turbulence is going to be longer lasting and much deeper than previously thought.
The bank's highly respected investment guru Abby Joseph Cohen had raised eyebrows by continuing to insist that shares would rebound long after most of her colleagues had turned bearish.
The bank said the executive committee made the decision after "giving full consideration to the volatile state of global financial markets and the disproportionate impact on the financial services sector".
Goldman Sachs will take immediate steps to make sure that it can continue to function as a partnership.
It will take action early next month to create a new tier of partnership which will satisfy demands from the so-called marzipan layer of middle management for a share in the profits and running of the bank.
The fact that the decision was so clear cut will come as a surprise to some both inside and outside the bank.