Just kidding-- it might've been a sloshed John Mack. Or Brian Moynihan, taking a page from his predecessor's playabook. Or maybe it was Nouriel Roubini's favorite cocktail waitress at the neighborhood piano bar who told the Sunday Times LB will be taking home a unit this year. The paper claimed its sources were "rival bankers" and without Jamie Dimon there, this is kind of a tough one. Maybe it was Goldman co-president and attendee Gary Cohn, specifically sent to Davos to "fuck with them a little." Who knows (/cares)-- it's all relative.
Bankers in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) told The Times they understood that Mr Blankfein and other top Goldman bankers outside Britain were set to receive some of the bank's biggest-ever payouts, in defiance of President Obama's attempt to shame banks into cutting bonuses. "This is Lloyd thumbing his nose at Obama," said a banker at one of Goldman's rivals.
Alternative theory: this is Lloyd Blankfein thumbing his "nose" at former Goldman CEO Hank "When I was at Goldman, I used to try and convince everyone pay outta whack but nobody listened to me" Paulson.
Mr Blankfein took home his biggest bonus so far in 2007, when he was paid $67.9 million. Goldman's profits last year were $1.8 billion higher than in 2007. This leaves the bank with a justification to pay him even more although payouts will be made in shares rather than cash to make them more politically palatable. Some rival bankers claim Mr Blankfein could receive up to $100 million, though even a much lower figure could prove politically explosive.
Update: Others have suggested it was LB himself who put the rumor out there, which is entirely possible.