Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goldman Sachs: Philanthropists?

Looks like
Goldman is thinking about requiring people who get bonuses to donate a percentage to charity:

As it prepares to pay out big bonuses to employees, Goldman Sachs is considering expanding a program that would require executives and top managers to give a certain percentage of their earnings to charity.
The move would be the latest in a series of initiatives by Goldman to soften criticism over the size of its bonuses, which are expected to be among the largest on Wall Street, bringing average pay to about $595,000 for each employee — with far higher amounts for top performers.
This is priceless. Goldman helps destroy the US economy, gets bailed out by the taxpayer, and then plans to take the bailout money (that was supposed to go towards stabilizing the banks and getting them to lend again) and instead gives it to its already rich bankers as a bonus-presumably for being good at screwing the taxpayers out of money. This is already causing massive outrage, but, instead of doing the right thing and canceling all bonuses, Goldman is talking about requiring its employees to donate some percentage (the article mentions a measly 4%) to charity.

It's like robbing a bank, and then asking if you can keep the money if you give a little of it away.

No, that's not quite true- it's not
like that, it is that.

And lest you assume that these rounding error donations will be going to hungry inner-city children or something, here are a few charities that would be eligible for a Goldman donation:

  • New York Yacht Club Foundation
  • The Viennese Opera Ball
  • The World Golf Foundation

Color me unimpressed.


The firm said last month that its 30 most senior executives would be paid bonuses all in stock, but the bank placed no limit on how large those bonuses might be.

This might mean something if Goldman was a normal company, and wasn't guaranteed by the United States Government. A company like that might actually go out of business, and it's possible that its stock might one day be worthless. But if you haven't noticed, Goldman Sachs isn't going out of business, no matter how much of the company's assets these bankers liquidate into bonuses.

If you work for a bank which was bailed out by taxpayers, I think you should be getting a US government employee salary. The president makes $400,000 a year; I don't think any of these guys are more important than the president.

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