Ugh, Goldman. This probably seems silly to those of you who don't work there, but it's really hard being a Master of the Universe sometimes. Particularly on payday and especially when you know the ridiculous success of the last few quarters is going to mean ka-ching! on your face. Sure, it should be a cause for celebration but because certain jerkoff writers-- no names necessary: Tatt Maibbi-- have turned the public against you, what with his anecdotal evidence of sucking people's blood (one time!), you can't do anything that might draw attention to the jingle jangle of coinage in your pants. You can't even dance. And when you can't do that, is there even a point to this thing?
Goldman's bonus pool is expected to swell to an estimated $16 billion after what's expected to be another stellar quarter, and Blankfein is struggling to figure out how to pay his employees in a way that keeps them happy while avoiding another round of populist and political outrage like the bank experienced over the summer.
And while a typical CEO would be cheering such news, for Blankfein another gold-plated quarter represents a huge headache, as the firm's success has been greeted with intense scorn on both Wall Street and Main Street.
According to people familiar with the matter, Goldman's human-resources department is toying with a number of changes to employee compensation, including imposing longer vesting periods for stock options. Also under consideration is paying top executives' bonuses almost entirely in stock to keep from making the biggest cash payments. Sources speculated that the cash cut out of the bonus pool might be used to buy back stock.
'Damage' Control [NYP]