By Candice Krieger
July 15, 2009
Forgive me for jumping on the Goldman Sachs-bashing bandwagon but quite frankly, it is too good an opportunity to pass up. The tune, I hear, goes something like this (please note these are not real names):
Shocked member of the public number one: "Can you believe that bankers at Goldman Sachs are on track for average pay packets of more than £475,000 this year after the investment bank reported record profits"
Flabbergasted member of the public number two: "Haven't they heard of the recession?!"
I am sure they have heard of it. They have probably just forgotten we are in one, in the same way that they have forgotten that it wasn't so long ago that Goldman's was being bailed out with a $10 bn loan from the US government. And of course there is us, the taxpayers, who have had to stump up huge sums of money to keep the financial system afloat, after the banking sector racked up considerable losses. In fact, if it wasn't for all the public money being ploughed into the banking system, the surviving banks such as Goldman Sachs, BarCap and Morgan Stanley, might not still be err surviving.
So why the bonuses? The banks see it as a way of keeping hold of their most talented staff, aka the highest earners, through sickeningly generous financial incentives. Funny that. Usually bad or naughty actions warrant punishment, not a reward. Even my five year-old cousin knows that.
The payouts will infuriate families whose finances, jobs and livelihoods have been crushed by the crisis, and no doubt, they will make their opinions heard. And, as they do, the bandwagon will continue to roll - as, I fear, will the banker's bonuses.
And if you think I'm being harsh on Goldman's, check out the GoldmanSachs666.com website, set up by investment adviser Mike Morgan to rant about the bank.