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Goldman Sachs Sued By Shareholder Over Bonuses, Again

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Back in December, Goldman Sachs put a 14-page presentation on its website detailing the metrics they use to award compensation (naturally, it's by scrot-size). They didn't have to, but because they care deeply for their shareholders, wanted to just, you know, be up front about everything. No more secrets, no more bull shitting, just straight up open and honest communication. It was a pretty huge step for Lloyd and his backup dancers, who figured it'd score them some major points, and ward off any potential chance of being put in the dog house over making it rain ka-ching! on their employees faces without discussing it first. And yet! Today some ungrateful pissant of a shareholder, Ken Brown, taking a cue from the Village People, has sued the bank over what he characterizes as "a waste of the company's assets and a breach of duty and loyalty."

The so-called derivative suit, brought on behalf of a Goldman Sachs shareholder Ken Brown, an Illinois resident, was filed in state court in New York on Jan. 5, alleging breach of duty and loyalty. The suit seeks unspecified damages and lawyer fees and asks the court to direct the defendants, including Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and company directors, to account for "all profits and special benefits they have obtained," Brown says, "including all salaries, bonuses, fee stock awards, options and stock sales."

"In 2009, the year it received help from the Federal Reserve and took advantage of market conditions as a result of the TARP and other programs, it paid out close to 50 percent of its net revenue in compensation," Brown alleges in the complaint. TARP is the U.S. government's Troubled Assets Relief Program. Brown alleges that while Goldman announced last month that the company would make changes to its 2009 compensation, the revisions are merely "cosmetic" and don't affect compensation paid out in 2008 or reduce the amount paid to 14,000 executives in the company. He says the defendants "automatically" set aside about 44 percent of net revenue for employees, regardless of performance.
"Payment of this exorbitant amount of compensation, which has little to do with Goldman Sachs' performance, and was financed in large part with government bailout and taxpayer money," Brown alleges "is a waste of the company's assets and a breach of duty and loyalty."

First off: did he not see the presentation?? How was that not good enough?? Second: "a waste"? How dare you.


Bonus Watch '08: Goldman Sachs

Bonuses paid in '08 that were of the look-but-don't-touch variety were turned into real live ones that you can buy things with last year. Two billion dollars worth of live ones.