Citi Puts In Two Cents On Goldman Sachs's Compensation Problem

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Have you heard the news about Goldman Sachs's struggle to figure out how it can a) make it rain ridiculously huge bonuses on employees' faces this year while b) not giving certain pissant journalists at publications like, I don't know, Rolling Stone, opportunity to smirk knowingly while implying that though it's difficult to prove definitively the money came from the proceeds of organ trafficking, that certainly seems to be the case? Citi analysts have. They (for some reason) detailed the PR problem in a note to investors yesterday, writing that the firm will pay its people more this year than ever due to "phenomenal results." But please, do not get the impression that just because bonuses will be dispensed in a DuckTails-esque scene on the trading floor that Goldman is somehow tone deaf to the shit that's gone down over the last year. This could not be further from the truth, says Citi. Citi knows this because its analysts had a sit-down with senior management at the bank to discuss the matter, and were assured Goldman gets it.

Goldman Sachs management has to "walk a fine line" between paying enough money to employees to discourage them from leaving and paying so much that it elicits "excessive ire" from the government and public, the note said.
"According to management, Goldman's main compensation principles have not changed and are widely in-line with the spirit of regulatory proposals," the analysts wrote after meetings with Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, President Gary Cohn and other executives.

Not really clear as to what the motivation was for opining on the situation (and feeling the need to get out Goldman's side of the story) but presumably the thinking was that was that it'd give the Big C an opening to suggest that if things get really bad, GS ought just give them the money to hold on to until things blow over, which would be a win-win for all.

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