Goldman Sachs' private equity clients are bracing for the worst.

According to the bank's chairman of investment banking, Alison Mass, "Every one of our clients is focused on being prepared for a recession."

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Mass said that she was "in Asia earlier this fall and saw the head of a private equity firm that has assets all over the world. He said he had given a recession checklist to each one of his CEOs with nine things on that checklist that he wanted all of them to work on and come back to him."

According to Mass, that checklist included asking suppliers to extend terms, putting limits on capital expenditure and taking on only essential staff.

It's a stark warning that a recession could be looming. However, Goldman's own economists aren't anywhere near as bearish: The bank said last month that it sees growth gaining pace next year , to between 2.25% and 2.5%, and expect unemployment to drop to Korean War-era lows. Risk of recession in 2020 is one in five, they say.

The bank, in a recent note outlining key themes for 2020 , also said it sees market upside limited by global central bank policy, including the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

Mass also told Bloomberg that she expects more large-scale deals to continue, as deals of $10 billion or more accounted for 23% of the bank's private equity transactions.

"Our clients are looking to put large amounts of capital to work, so we at Goldman Sachs are looking through our industry teams as well as around the globe at large transactions," Mass added.

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