Guy Who Worked At Goldman Sachs Before Tom Wolfe Coined 'Masters of the Universe' Thinks Current MOTUs Should Take Pay Cut


If you read DealBreaker—hell, if read CollarMe.com—you know that Goldman Sachs gave out $16 billion in bonuses last year. Blankfein got $54 million (in total comp: weak), traders got $100 million, secretaries $200,000. In general, they also passed out pretty large salaries, too. BFD, welcome to America, let’s all move on with our lives. One guy who isn’t is John Whitehead, former co-head of Goldman Sachs, one billion years ago. During an interview with Bloomberg News, Whitehead, who left his post at 85 Broad in 1984, said that he is “appalled at the salaries,” and called Blankfein’s 2006 paycheck “an outrage.”
Whitehead, 85, noted that in his day, partners on Wall Street never made more than $120,000 (related: when my great-grandfather was 8, frankfurters only cost a nickel). The octogenarian also warned (hoped) that today’s “high fliers are going to fall flat…and their excessive pay should be cut back sharply, even if it means losing some of them.” Besides Blankfein, Whitehead sees competition by hedge funds as the source of the epidemic. He (likely) snarled, “[It] is very tempting to a Goldman Sachs partner who's in that part of the business, to go off on his own, as many have, and they've all done very well, much better than they would have done even at Goldman Sachs…let them see what happens when the hedge-fund bubble, as I see it, ends.” Great, the guy who worked on Wall Street before some of us were even a fetus has chimed in to make sense of it (the outrages) all. Related: in 2006, Goldman executives—by percentage, took a pay cut. Their compensation represented 43% of revenue, versus 47% in 2005, and was the lowest it’s been since the bank went public in 1999.
Former Goldman Chief Rips Wall St. Mega-Payouts [NYP]


Was The Financial Crisis Caused By A Fictional Hooker-Loving Master Of The Universe? At Least One Guy Thinks Maybe

Several weeks back, Michael Douglas appeared in public service announcement shot by the FBI, in which he tells people that while they may have been taken by his character in Wall Street, that it's important to remember that that was just a movie and in real life, insider trading is wrong. Next up among actors who think roles they portrayed on the big screen contributed to the financial crisis is Richard Gere. Glamorizing being a corporate raider who made enough money to buy a hooker is his personal cross to bear. It was the modern-day fairytale that captivated hundreds of millions of film fans the world over. But it seems Pretty Woman holds nothing but regrets for its leading man, Richard Gere. While promoting his new financial thriller Arbitrage recently, the 62-year-old shared his scorn for the feelgood 1990 chick flick, telling Woman’s Day, “It’s my least favourite thing.” Richard adds, “People ask me about that movie, but I’ve forgotten it. That was a silly romantic comedy. This is a much more serious movie that has some real cause and effect.” Incredibly, the grumpy star also claims his Pretty Womancharacter Edward Lewis helped contribute to the global financial crisis, as he glorified greedy and selfish Wall Street types. “It made those guys seem dashing, which was so wrong,” Richard explains. Related, what's it gonna take to smoke Vin Diesel out of his hole? It's pretty obvious it was around the time his turn as senior broker in Boiler Room premiered that Dick Fuld ramped up the shit on Lehman Brothers balance sheet that ultimately took the firm down. Richard Gere: Pretty Woman Was Rubbish [WD via Dealbook]