Might be good if they put some of this into gold


Goldman Hands Out
Bumper Payouts
After Stellar Year

By Ben White
Financial Times, London
Thursday, February 22, 2007


Goldman Sachs yesterday solidified its position as the best-paying publicly traded investment bank in Wall Street history, disclosing that it awarded co-presidents Gary Cohn and Jon Winkelried about $53 million (£27 million ) each in cash and stock compensation last year.

The sum is a whisker shy of the $54 million paid to Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive, highlighting Mr Blankfein's closeness to Mr Cohn and Mr Winkelried and his desire to reward his top lieutenants following Goldman's most profitable year. Mr Blankfein's pay was disclosed in December.

Goldman also disclosed that it awarded Hank Paulson, who left as chief executive in June to become US Treasury secretary, $110 million in cash to cover his remaining stock options and restricted stock. Goldman paid an additional $51 million to repurchase stakes owned by Mr Paulson and his wife in several Goldman-managed private equity and hedge funds.

The payments are on top of the approximately $500 million in Goldman shares Mr Paulson last year said he would sell in order to comply with federal ethics rules. Mr and Mrs Paulson gave $100 million to charity last year, placing them 18th on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's top givers.

The $53 million paid to Goldman's co-presidents exceeds the 2006 compensation disclosed so far for other leading Wall Street chief executives. John Mack, Morgan Stanley chief executive, received a $40 million bonus for 2006. That figure does not include Mr Mack's cash compensation, which has yet to be disclosed. Stan O'Neal, Merrill Lynch chief executive, received 2006 compensation of $48 million.

Disclosure of the huge payments to Mr Cohn and Mr Winkelried comes in the wake of Goldman's record-setting 2006 performance. The bank's profits jumped 70 percent to $9.54 billion and its shares soared nearly 60 percent as its focus on proprietary trading and private equity, along with continued strength in traditional corporate advisory work, paid off handsomely.

Mr Blankfein named the two men as co-presidents after he took over as chief executive in June from Mr Paulson. Mr Cohn and Mr Winkelried both rose through Goldman's trading divisions, as did Mr Blankfein.

Goldman also disclosed that it paid John Weinberg, vice-chairman and a veteran investment banker, about $32 million. It paid David Viniar, chief financial officer, about $40 million.

In December, Goldman said it would pay its 26,467 employees a total of $16.5 billion in compensation in 2006, an average of $622,000 each. But top executives earn far more and support staff far less. Top investment bankers are said to have earned about $25 million and top traders $50 million. Goldman has dismissed reports that some traders made as much as $100 million.

* * *

Help Keep GATA Going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at www.GATA.org. GATA is grateful for financial contributions, which are federally tax-deductible in the United States.