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Dec. 10 2009 - 3:18 pm | 7 views | 1 recommendation | 1 comment

Goldman plays defense on those other, risk-free bonuses

It’s the fourth quarter, and Goldman, the leader in just about everything, is playing defense — in the media and with its shareholders who you think would be happy that  the stock has virtually doubled in the past year.

Not the case.

FT Alphaville reports that Goldman has been defending the $16.7 billion bonus pool to shareholders with a 14-slide PowerPoint presentation.

Further, Goldman today announced that the top 30 execs, wouldn’t get to touch the cash. Rather, they will be paid in restricted stock — shares at risk in their fancy parlance (as explained in my previous post).

FT Alphaville kindly selected the best slides to publish from the PowerPoint presentation. In essence, the slides reveal that Goldman Sachs is more profitable than anyone or anything else on this planet. QED, mega-bonuses. How they got so profitable, they don’t fully explain.

Enjoy the three charts (click to enlarge):

gs_bonus as percent of revenues

gs_historic performance

gs_pretax profits


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    I am a financial writer and have worked for or contributed to a number of news publishers. As the song goes, "some are dead and some are living, but in my life, I have loved them all" -- Knight-Ridder Financial, USA Today, Quick Nikkei News, and Barron's -- to name a few. I am grateful to Wall Street for creating a spectacular market smash-up based on the mortgage securities market, my first beat. I'm ever so much more popular at dinner parties these days. I hope you enjoy my blog, it marks my return from the mommy track. There's no tantrum I can't handle.

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