Monday, November 17, 2008

Goldman Sachs, The Hated Kid On Wall Street

Blankfein, presidents and co-chief operating officers Jon Winkelried and Gary Cohn, chief financial officer David Viniar, and three vice chairmen -- J. Michael Evans, Michael Sherwood and John Weinberg -- asked the board's compensation committee that they not receive a bonus, spokesman Lucas van Praag said. The compensation committee met and agreed, Praag said.

The executives will only be eligible for a base salary of US$600,000 (HK$4.68 million) each, the Wall Street Journal reported. Last year, Blankfein made US$68.5 million, Winkelried and Cohn got US$67.5 million, and Viniar got US$57.5 million.

Goldman Sachs, not being badly hit by the current financial turmoil, is now leading the way for the rest to follow. This will make everyone on Wall Street to hate them, especially the senior management at poorer performing firms such as Merrill Lynch and Citigroup - how are they going to be able to ask for a decent bonus now. Having said that the top guys at Goldman knows when to play their cards right. When you have over US$60 million last year, its quite pointless to fight for US$20 million. Might as well forgo all, win enormous credibility in the market place for leadership, making the tough decisions, gaining respect from other players. The only enemey they have is Vikram Pandit, who will be cursing them in hushed tones... how will he get his bonus approved now?

p/s photos: Ayumi Lee


Mr. Stein said...

Gaining respect? These guys are criminals. They should give all their bonuses back and if they don't, we should take it back from them.

Jasonred79 said...

Also, they don't want hordes of investors who they have caused to lose money to form an angry mob and riot outside their homes. Or pour petrol on their cars. That sort of thing...

I see this more as PLACATING an outraged public and customers, rather than "gaining respect".

I'm pretty sure that if everyone hadn't kicked up such a fuss (what a surprise?), these guys would have been quite happy to pocket their bonus. As it is, they judged the mood correctly and realized that stubbornly insisting on their bonus was going to get them in trouble.

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