There’s a rule on Wall Street that says if banks are considering doing something a little outside the box, something that might rock the boat a bit, they wait for Goldman’s signal. Whether it’s sartorial choices (Zubaz), internal protocols (the initiation of a buddy system between the prime brokerage and prop desk in order to facilitate front running of clients), or grooming (shorn scrotums), everyone waits for Goldman to go first and they then follow.

In some cases, the rationale comes down to the fact that the other firms really want to go for it (Deutsche, for one, was pushing hard for the hairless balls, telling anyone who would listen that “there’s really nothing like it”) but realize that if there’s any blowback, Goldman Sachs is best equipped to take the heat (by telling those who criticize to go fuck themselves). In others, the move being considered may not be something management at other shops want to do at all; they hold out for as long as possible until Goldman has to screw by doing it, at which time the other firms must follow suit, lest their employees get jealous of, for instance, their GS counterparts’ newly aerodynamic sacks.

To that end, the Times reports that Wall Street is “discussing whether to move up their bonus payouts from next year to this month,” out of fear that “lawmakers will allow taxes to rise for the wealthiest Americans beginning next year.” Apparently executives “at two large banks said their companies tentatively decided not to speed payouts, unless Goldman did. Then, these two executives said, they would consider paying early as a competitive measure, so that their workers were not upset.”

Mind you, Goldman itself has not yet decided anything and it would be a bit crunched for time on coming up with the numbers if it did in fact decide to accelerate the bonus timetable, to say nothing of the fact that the same paper reported on the same day that it’s looking like the tax cuts will be extended (not just for those making up to $250,000 but higher-earners as well).

So, you know, what will happen remains a bit unclear. Also unclear: what’s going on in the article’s accompany photo: Read more »

  • 22 Nov 2010 at 9:57 AM

Warren Buffett: WAKE UP, AMERICA!

The rich are lying to you about their cash money. Read more »

The numbers have been crunched and there’s good news and less good news. Read more »

As you may have heard, Kristin Davis, the former madam who supplied Eliot Ness with prostitutes when he was into that sort of thing, is running for governor of New York. She’s previously stated that her qualifications for the job are that she 1) “Was valedictorian of [her] high-school class 2) “Worked 10 years in finance [as] vice president of a hedge fund 3) “Went on to build a multimillion-dollar business from snatchscratch.” Today she elaborated on how her time in the industry helped prepare her for life (her boss was a real slave driver) and what you can expect should you vote Davis on election day. Read more »

Buffett said today at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington that the nation’s tax code “has gotten distorted to a huge extent,” by levying higher taxes on secretaries and janitors than on CEOs and private equity whiners. “We are not taking in enough money at the federal government level,” he said. He said tax collections will have to rise back into the 18-20% range from below 15% lately. But Buffett also added a new twist in an interview after his appearance with’s Poppy Harlow: He said it’s time to cut taxes on those outside the top tax brackets. “We’re going to need to get more money,” said Buffett. “Why not get it from me instead of the guys who will serve us lunch?” [Fortune]

Kiss these babies good-bye.

Have you not been getting your panties in a bunch over the potential expiration of the Bush tax cuts? Have you not been working yourself into a lather over how your life will be ruined– RUINED!!!– if what people are saying might go down does in fact go down? Maybe that’s just because you haven’t stopped to think about what you’re going to be losing. Bloomberg wants you to take this seriously so today they’ve brought out the big guns. Brace yourself, because this is going to hurt:

Wealthy Americans have the price of a BMW convertible riding on the outcome of the Congressional battle over tax cuts set to expire this year. A married New Yorker earning about $1 million in income, with an additional $50,000 in capital gains and $5,000 in dividends may pay about an extra $45,300 in federal income taxes, $2,500 in capital gains and $1,230 on dividends if Congress doesn’t extend the 2001 and 2003 tax reductions scheduled to end Dec. 31, says Alan Dlugash, a partner at Marks Paneth & Shron LLP, a New York-based accounting firm. That’s about a $50,000 hit, he said.

Read more »

  • 30 Aug 2010 at 5:41 PM

Get Paid To Shoot Someone From UBS

Looking for a new gig (or a gig period)? Disheartened by the dearth of openings in the industry at the moment? Itching for the chance to get all up in UBS’s face? If you’re under 37, in “prime physical condition” and can shoot a gun, the IRS wants you for its Criminal Investigation Divsion, which is now hiring. [FINS]