You'd think that there would be one newspaper in this town defending Wall Street bonuses. And there is: the New York Sun. Today's editorial defends Goldman Sachs and takes some nice swipes at the bonus bashing from the Post and the News.
News of a good year, performance-wise, at Goldman Sachs and of compensation to match for the firm's employees and executives has set some of our competitors — and no doubt, plenty of other New Yorkers — into singing carols of socialism. The New York Post's Sean Delonas, one of the great humorists in town, drew a cartoon, published in the paper, depicting the Goldman bankers as common criminals, complete with bandit masks.
It's something to imagine Rupert Murdoch reading that over his cornflakes in the apartment on Fifth Avenue for which he reportedly paid $44 million. The Daily News ran an editorial declaring, "Something is wrong when one firm's bonus pool is big enough to end poverty in America's largest city." We wonder under which one of Mortimer Zuckerman's Picassos the News' proprietor was sitting when he read that screed.
Well, if no one else will defend Goldman Sachs, let us have a try. Our view is that while it may be fashionable to disparage success, succeeding deserves celebration, especially when, as at Goldman, it comes at a meritocracy. The Goldman Sachs chief executive who earned about $54 million this year, Lloyd Blankfein, grew up in the far reaches of Brooklyn, the son of a postal worker, and attended Harvard on a scholarship. His rise represents what is right about New York and capitalism, not what is wrong with it.
Goldman $achs [New York Sun]