In a remarkably shrewd move, the top seven executives at Goldman Sachs (GS) will give up their 2008 bonuses. That should keep Congress and regulators off the investment bank’s back and allow it to move forward with its daily business without the distractions and objections that would come from paying out tens of millions of dollars in compensation after a year in which even Goldman has remarkably poor earnings and an awful stock performance. The shares are down from a 52-week high of $234 to $67.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "The executives, including firm Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein, asked the board’s compensation committee that they receive no bonus and the board Sunday approved the request. As a result, the executives will only be eligible for their base salaries, $600,000 for each of the seven executives."
Blankfein made $70 million last year and his lieutenants probably did obscenely well, so missing the a bonanza this year should not cause any of them to be thrown out of their homes.
Douglas A. McIntyre