Sources say that Goldman Sachs’ bonuses will be announced on Monday, January 18, and actually paid sometime between February 4 and February 7. In previous years, the bonuses were paid in early January – but the financial year shifted when Goldman became a bank holding company.
For critics of the company and its fellow travelers, the timing could not be better.
Anxiety levels about the financial sector are on the increase, even on Capitol Hill. The tension between high profits in banking and stress in the rest of the economy becomes increasingly a topic of discussion across the nation.
And you are hard pressed to find any government official who has not by now woken up – in private – to the dangerous hubris of big banks. To add insult to injury (and many other insults), the Bank for International Settlements is holding a meeting to discuss excessive risk-taking in the financial sector; according to CNBC Thursday morning, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase were invited but did not show up (they really are very busy).
The smart strategy for Goldman in this context would be to pay no bonus for 2009 (in cash, stock or any other form), but this is not possible for three reasons. Continue reading “Countdown to January 18: Goldman’s Bonus Day”