Goldman Sachs Q1: Pay Up, People Down

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Compensation and benefits expenses (including salaries, discretionary compensation, amortization of prior year equity awards and other items such as payroll taxes, severance costs and benefits) were $4.71 billion, 18% higher than the first quarter of 2008, primarily due to higher net revenues. The ratio of compensation and benefits to net revenues was 50.0%, compared with 48.0% for the first quarter of 2008. Employment levels decreased 7% compared with the end of fiscal year 2008.

Goldman Sachs 2009 Q1 Earnings [PDF]
Goldman Sachs Reports First Quarter Earnings Per Common Share of $3.39 [Market Watch]

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Goldman Sachs Probably Won't Be Laying People Off Anytime Soon

People being the operative word here, as the statement "we're going to look for other means for efficiency" most certainly suggests plants may once again find themselves on the chopping block. After a year of cost-cutting that resulted in more than 2,400 job cuts, Goldman Sachs is satisfied with its staffing levels and doesn't intend to conduct more large layoffs. Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said the firm has "largely implemented our announced expense reductions" and is "relatively well-positioned, assuming the environment stays where it is." He was speaking on a conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter earnings. "We're going to look for other means for efficiency," he said. "I wouldn't expect anything major to change from where we are." Goldman Sachs Ends Layoffs [FINS] Related: Layoffs Watch ’11: Goldman Sachs’ Philodendrons In The Line Of Fire