At Blogging Stocks, Peter Cohan examines why traders are putting their bosses to shame this bonus season. Lloyd Blankfein, for one, will probably earn a measly $50 million (loser), whereas Morgan Sze (big man on campus), head of GS's principal strategies group in Hong Kong will go home with a check around twice that. Why? Cohan thinks it's a matter of the banks recognizing hot v. hotter commodities, and their respective Plan B's. Blankfein is, Cohan says, "stuck in his lousy $50 million job. He can't go to another bank because the next highest payer, Morgan Stanley's CEO, received 20% less-- a mere $40 million." But Sze, oh, the world is Sze's oyster. He and other traders of his ilk are "prone to leave to start their own hedge funds where the average of the top 100 made roughly three-and-a-half times his bonus-- or $363 million in 2005." Goldman knows it can't afford to lowball Sze, but has some leeway, in regards to his boss.
(Quasi-unrelated but too good to not mention:)
This kind of relative pay comparison is a source of real unhappiness. At Goldman, for example, 15% of the employees are unhappy because they got only a 20% increase in their bonus, rather than the 30% to 50% increase the top performers got. If that's not bad enough, employees have to put on a good face because their managers add their reactions to news of their bonuses to their personnel records!
Why top traders outearn investment bank CEOs 2:1 [Blogging Stocks]