June 22nd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Goldman Sachs may make its largest bonus payouts ever

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Goldman Sachs is on track to make the biggest bonus payouts in the company's 140-year history - according to a report in the British newspaper 'The Guardian'. Goldman staff in London were reportedly told that they could expect record bonuses if the company - as predicted - has its most profitable year ever.

Goldman Sachs' headquarters building in New York City.

The investment bank's earnings are up for several reasons - including a lack of competition, along with increased revenue from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed income products.

Just last week Goldman Sachs repaid the government the $10 billion in TARP money it had received - which would leave it free to do whatever it wants. Yet the company is denying these reports about record bonuses, calling them "pure speculation." They say they won't know what bonuses will be until the end of December.

But the company's CEO told lawmakers recently that the firm is obligated to "ensure that compensation reflects the true performance of the firm and motivates proper behavior."

Critics say the culture of excessive risk and excessive bonuses is what brought down the financial system in the first place. Also, in light of the ongoing recession, record unemployment, foreclosures and a whole range of economic woes... some might wonder if this would be the best time for Goldman to pay out record bonuses.

It's believed the firm paid $1 million or more to nearly 1,000 bankers last year.

Here’s my question to you: What message would it send if Goldman Sachs makes the biggest bonus payouts in its 140-year history?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jerry from Toronto writes:
I don’t see an issue with bonuses, what I do see are the greedy not learning any valuable lessons. The next time the market fails do not give them a pass and let them collect $200; the Monopoly money has run out. They can stand in the bread line with the rest of us.

Martin from France writes:
It would send a great message that not all companies are struggling and there is hope ahead! Some companies can manage through these times well. Companies (such as British airways) are asking employees to work for free, take unpaid leave etc when times are tough. We've got to expect the reverse - when times are good, reward the staff.

Walter writes:
So Goldman Sachs may have its "most profitable" year ever, leading to the payment of "record" bonuses. Has everyone forgotten about the $13 billion of taxpayer money funneled to Goldman through AIG during the last 9 months? Sure, Goldman paid back the $10 billion of TARP money it took through the front door. But the $13 billion laundered through AIG and taken in the back door would appear to have gone straight to the bottom line.

Steve writes:
Massive bonuses in the face of this difficult recession will further alienate the average, hard-working people who have had to tighten their financial belts, or who may have lost their jobs entirely. If society begins to see most bankers as greedy and out-of-touch with the common person, there is a growing chance that legislation may emerge that limits or penalizes massive compensation and bonuses. Bankers may be biting themselves in the rear end!

Marc from Virginia writes:
It's still a free country for now. They can pay their execs whatever they want.

Nereida writes:
Goldman Sachs must be doing something right if they paid back their loan and managed to pay off bonuses. I'm currently unemployed and would love to return to New York. Whom should I address my resume to?

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    Don't expect honor among thieves or bankers, if one can tell the

    June 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Darren

    How is it none of those crooks are in jail for the biggest heist in American history? Ever since tne S&L Scandal being perpetrated by removing banking regulations through our well-paid (off) Congrerssmen in Capitol Hill, it's been one scam after another, all to make rich CEOs even richer. They need to be pouring their fleecing of America into the judicial system and hope their next address doesn't come with a strip search.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  3. john .... marlton, nj

    Unless Goldman is breaking with the tradition of calculating and announcing bonuses at the end of each of those 140 years and sharing that news with a tabloid, the account of such is bogus... and no more credible than those advancing it.
    If it is true, why can't Goldman offer the highest payday in its history, when Obama and his tax and spend liberals have not only had the largest spending extravaganza in history, but one that has exceeded the sum of ALL before them.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Terry, Chandler AZ

    It would prove that Americans are self absorbed in our personal lives that we accept things we oppose. If we had the courage of the young Iranian heros, we would be in the streets in opposition of the bonus payouts that we the taxpayer are giving the GS high performers.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  5. Tim in Texas

    It sends the message that the American people have not yet gotten the message to Congress yet. Here's the message: Tax the wealthy & make capital gains taxes progressive. Use the extra revenue to pay for health care reform and education. Eventually the 95% of us who aren't rich will make more & the tax code can be evened out.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  6. Lisa in Shelton CT

    It would mean they have no desire to participate in policing their tainted industry or being fiscally responsible; and it would send the message that unmitigated greed and arrogance are alive and well at Goldman Sachs. Dispicable – but who'd get the money if the executives don't? Not the little guys. Not the investors. Certainly not the IRS.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  7. Alice NEWYORK

    Material ethos should go! There is no recession! people are still getting rich on the backs of many! just like in the great "D"!

    June 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  8. Bob

    The message is simple. What big banks want big banks get. Be it unfettered regulations or unfettered bailout money.

    Madoff was a piker compared to these guys.

    Louisville, Ky

    June 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  9. Lisa in Shelton CT

    Since everyone else's investments took an absolute beating this year, one wonders how Goldman Sachs has been any making money at all. Are we sure there isn't some creative accounting going on?

    June 22, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  10. Kevin, Florida

    This just goes to show you on a small scale where the True Moral compass of this Nation has gone....in the drink. We take away the Pledge of Allegiance, abandon Good Ol Family values, want to pass out legal drugs like candy....a word of caution, remember what happened to Ancient Rome in all her Decadance?

    June 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  11. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Message? They don't need no stinking message. They do as they please in their own world because they know that someday, the only things left alive on earth will be cockroaches and Goldmine Sachs.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  12. A. Davis

    Of course they are? What else if our taxpayer money for?

    June 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  13. Mary A from Austin TX

    Here's the message I would like to send to Goldman Sach's: give out bounuses while the American public is still reeling from high unemployment, lost 401 savings, and the US government (aka taxpayers of America) will allow you to fall next time you need a bailout.

    Mary A from Austin TX

    June 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  14. Jamal Saint Petersburg, FL

    That the economy is recovering...

    June 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  15. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Hey, Jack, the message I would send is "Give me back my tax money!"
    The bailout saved their butts, so the taxpayer should get the bonus.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  16. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    It makes them come across as just another greedy, self-serving company who has no conscience! I hope that their actions come back and bite them in the -!

    June 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  17. Major Dad Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: They are in the business of making money--and if they repaid back the TARP monies that was provided by the government---–then--it is business as usual. Did anyone actually think they were going to change--–you can touch the spots of the lepoard-–but you can't move them---and you can never change "greed."

    June 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  18. Pete (St. Louis, MO)

    It would send the message that the public has no real recourse against big global financial interests. When it comes to money democracy and prudent governance takes a back seat.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  19. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,it would send the message that the free markets work and that economy always recovers with or without government enterference,usually quicker without Washington D.C. National Bank!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  20. Scott Stodden

    We are in a recession, how hard is this to understand. I dont believe any of these banks or these investment firms such as Goldman Sachs or any other company should be paying bonuses when they cant afford them. Seems like these big banks have not still learned there lesson, what a shame to our country and the taxpayer's, the United States government is still failing the American people and thats not only my opinion.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, IL)

    June 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  21. Miguel E. from San Leandro, CA

    Crime does pay afterall.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  22. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    It would send the message that crime does in fact pay.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  23. dave walker,n. dartmouth,ma.

    Do we have a version of the Republican Guard that can shoot and maim with no consequences? That will be the only thing that these national leeches will understand.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  24. Carolyn

    It would tell me that they are nothing but a bunch of money-hungry crooks. 

    June 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  25. John - Carlsbad, CA


    It sends the message that nothing has changed and they are laughing at the tax payers for bailing them out. It says business as usual and there isn't a thing we can do about it because money runs the world and most definitely runs our government and these executives know it. It is giving the proverbial finger to the American people.

    Carlsbad, CA

    June 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  26. Pennie Johnson Alexandria,La.

    It would mean The Bush library would receive it's check for services rendered.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  27. Chris D., NYC

    Jack, they paid back the TARP, they can do what they want......It's the companies who have not paid back the TARP money, where government should intervene on bonus pay outs of the outrageous kind.....Life goes on, hopefully some of these private companies begin creating jobs for the avg. joe, like the GOP say they do. I'm a bit sceptical about that myself.....

    June 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  28. John from Alabama

    Jack: I am glad Goldman Sachs paid back the $10 billion it received from the TARP, but did the US government make any money from interest from the $10 billion Goldman Sachs received. I am glad Goldman Sachs is doing so well, but how many millions did the government make for loaning $10 billion to Goldman Sachs? I believe it is a good question.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  29. Kay, TX

    If they don't owe us, then so be it. They'll continue their ways until meaningful regulations are put in place and laws are changed AND inforced. Their shareholders, all big corporation shareholders, are being shafted. They need to wisen up. ...Unless they're into that sort of thing.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  30. ed in ri

    Here we go again. Please understand who created this eco-meltdown. Then; Who Obama has surrounded himself with in his cabinet choices. Then; connect the dots to find the answer!

    June 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  31. Missy M

    The message it sends is that the company employees worked hard to bring the company back to profitability and to repay taxpayers. If the company feels that employees should be rewarded for their hard work and success, then that's their business. For many employees of companies like Goldman Sachs and AIG, the bonus sometimes is a big percentage of their salary (sometimes it's even their entire salary).

    Missy M. Phoenix, Ariz.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  32. independent

    disgusting message, these companies should keep the bonuses so that they WOULDNT NEED to be bailed out by the gov't, if they do, its all because of greed, which will lead definitely to another bailout

    June 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  33. Doreen Suran RN, Bellevue, WA

    That it could care less about its investors, clients, stock owners and the American ecomony. Greed always wins and Goldman-Sachs will justify its bonuses. Just wish the economy was as great as Goldman-Sachs will protray in its justifications. PS is it the "Let them eat cake" moment yet?

    June 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  34. Eileen

    Jack, as Senator Durbin commented recently, the bankers own us. They own the Congress and therefore they own us, the people. We need campaign finance reform to change this country. Without it, all those that have the money to influence lawmakers in their favor will continue to get their way on policy. I just wish someone had the gahoonas to take a stand, even if they lose office. That would be real representation.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  35. Shantell

    It means business as usual while commonfolk continue to struggle during the recession. Next time they want a "bailout", I say give them the one finger salute and let them flop.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  36. Craig B.

    “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” – George Santayana

    June 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  37. todd marlin

    This is exactly why executive compensation needs to be capped. They are taking investor money and spending it lavishly and leaving the owners of the stock high and dry when things go badly. How many more executives need to bankrupt companies before this occurs ?

    June 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  38. Matt Vranich

    Intead of simply discussing whether or not a particular bank is going to pay a bonus, why not show what value investment banks are presumably addiding to the economy. As a graduate of a top five MBA school, I still have a hard time understanding what these people do to deserve such large bonuses, and nobody has every been able to explain it to me.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  39. Joel

    As long as the company paid back the money the government loaned them, then they have that right. However, it doesn't look good to the people who are losing their homes and businesses. If the people who use their services don't like the bonuses, they should stop using their services, but that probably won't happen anytime soon.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  40. Tony

    It sends the message that company had a good year. And good for them. Those bonuses are going to go out into the economy where they will be taxed and spent. Isn't that the big goal? Plus, do we really want to start questioning stupid spending by companies? At this point everything has corporate sponsorship from State Fairs to professional sports teams to the Olympics, and even some schools. It probably isn't the best use of their money, but we all benefit. So shush!

    June 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  41. Darryl S.

    It's all about greed!!!!
    No more bail outs.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  42. Marc

    1. It would show that the financial sector is continuing to find ways to skim money from the working class.

    2. That the ability to manipulate money is more valued in this country than the ability to manufacture things.

    3. That any student who pursues any academic discipline other than banking is wasting their time.

    Marc from Wisconsin

    June 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  43. Susan North Dakota

    The message is that this is a private company and they can compensate their employees as they see fit.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  44. Jim

    Time to outsource those jobs to India. You'll be able to find qualified people who can do those jobs well for far less. (Heck you can find qualified people in the US to do those jobs well for far less.)

    June 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  45. william,,,Atlanta

    It would send the message that those folks did a good job and hit/exceeed thier goals. What other message could there be?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  46. K in New Haven

    Collective frustration over such an imbalance of compensation for an industry contributing so little to improving the world is understandable and justified. To punish with higher taxation would provide little gain. This condition is probably more a symptom of a society in late stage evolution and thus provides us with another "canary in the coal mine" academic lesson. Our brightest young continue to eschew science, medicine, engineering, etc. for investment banking. Clearly, in the future the investments they seek will be somewhere else.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  47. Rebecca Steege

    They work for a better company than the rest of us do. Good for you.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  48. Jeff

    It means that greed and mismanagement are still alive and well. We obviously haven't learned from our mistakes and this is just another example. I won't matter soon if we continue on this path. Those $1 million bonuses will barely be worth the paper they're printed on.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  49. Jamie

    Goldman obviously managed their risk better than other banks and for that, their leadership deserves to see the extra mullah. Everyone knows that Goldman bonuses have always been some of the biggest in the business, but this year's success is proof that they work. The harsh reality is that critics of Goldman are starting to sound like sour grapes.

    Jamie, Philadelphia, PA

    June 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  50. John in Miami

    I'd say good work and keep it up. Look Jack if a company profits so should its employees. It's one thing to give a C.E.O. a bonus even if he doesn't deserve it. It is totally another to give bonuses to employees and managers who do a good job and turn a profit. That's what capitalism is all about and the sooner we get back to it the better.
    The problem is in the deals these companies give to executives regardless of growth and profit, that's where we need to focus.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  51. Brandy

    If the company had it's most profitable year ever, record bonuses are deserved. Any company that can flourish in such an economy without the intervention of government deserves to be able to function as it wished without the scrutiny of any critic.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  52. Tom

    Nothing has changed. It's the same old rhetoric with a different shade of green or should I say greed. Our world has two problems. No laws are upheld anymore with a quick and severe punishment that would deter corruption and there are too many people on the planet....it's as simple as that.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  53. Justin

    While most of us will say that this type of behavior is unacceptable, we have to remember our economy is based on Capitalism. Since Goldman repaid TARP they are free to do what they want. Truthfully if anyone should be upset it is their share/stakeholders.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  54. Tony Cape Cod

    The question is not whether it should pay big bonuses,
    but rather how is it making record profits in these times?
    More of the same kind of stuff that broke the banks?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  55. john Malone

    Business as usual. The people have lost the class war. Our governments are simply the strong arms of the financial sector. Everyone needs to get under their desks and cover their heads because the big banks are gonna drop nukes on the serfs.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  56. Krishnan Chittur

    It would be wise for Goldman to recognize that their "profit" is directly related to the low interest rates charged by the Feds as the Feds tried to unfreeze the credit markets. We, the tax payers guaranteed the deposits and loans not knowing if we will ever get paid back. Goldman may want to remember that till recently they were NOT a bank holding company – that the opening of the Fed Window for overnight loans and low interest funds is what made their "profits" possible.

    If it were NOT for the tax payers, there would be NO Goldman Sachs. Better remember that and resist from pretending that it was all due to those that take risks using OUR tax money. Do not even think of bonuses this year.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  57. Russell

    Jack, it would send the sadly accurate message that absolutely nothing has changed on Wall Street or in Washington. Don't forget that the last round of AIG bailout money included 10 billion which went straight to Goldman. So, they used that to pay off TARP, and now they can resume taking obscene bonuses. As usual, the taxpayers and the shareholders lose. Long live the oligarchy. We should have let them fail.

    Rusell in Tenafly, NJ

    June 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  58. John in NC

    I have mixed feelings, to be honest.

    The fact of the matter is, our government pressured several banks into taking TARP money they didn't want or need (Goldman Sachs, for instances, wanted to opt out of the TARP program, so did BB&T, and others). If any of these banks, who actually ran their affairs responsibly and conservatively, did have record years, they they should be able to pay whatever bonuses they think their employees deserve. After all, if they paid back their unwanted TARP funds, they also did so with interest... meaning that as taxpayers, we turned a profit as a result of the "investment".

    There are PLENTY of banks who have no business handing out record bonuses (or any bonuses at all, for that matter!). But I don't think Goldman Sachs deserves any ire from we, the taxpayers on this particular count.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  59. john

    from SF, CA

    Unless profits are up by several orders of magnitude, overall bonuses should still be significantly lower.

    Compensation plans that are overly reliant on performance-based bonuses encourage and reward excessive risk.

    In this post-armageddon financial landscape, bankers should be paid more like engineers than like salepeople - you get paid a decent salary for doing a decent job, and you can expect appropriate bonuses for exceeding goals. Just getting a cut of the commission or profit from any deal, regardless of the risk profile, is no longer an acceptable business practise.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  60. NANCY M.- Colorado

    It would tell me that they are just as greedy and dishonest as we thought they were. I don't think the answer to that would be less regulation, do you?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  61. jeff jackson, ozark, alabama

    They received bailout money. They paid it back.
    Obama said the government was not there to run
    any business. Once the banks and G.M. get on there
    feet Obama implied the government is outta there.
    I believe that's acceptable by all members of all
    parties. Free enterprise made America the great
    nation it has been for over 230 years. Obama never
    meant to do away with free enterprise. Let the banks
    pay what they want in bonuses. Outside of a few slips
    in our nation's economy our system has been the
    best on earth.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  62. Martin Miller

    Jack – What would it mean? It would mean that GS has decided the time is right to thumb their collective noses at the American taxpayer. The attitude of entitlement in the financial sector is astounding! Why do employees need such huge bonuses(on top of their salaries)simply to do their jobs? Jack, do you know what I get for doing my job?...a weekly paycheck. Maybe we should have just let GS die a natural death and then see how forthcoming bonuses would have been. On second thought, they probably would have figured out a way to still payout bonuses, even in bankruptcy.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  63. lois from Texas

    That the top excutives at Goldman just gave the 1 finger salute the everyone else.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  64. Andrew

    I can understand Goldman Sachs wanting to give good bonuses if they had their most profitable year in one of the worst recessions on record but there are concerns that come to mind.

    Are these profits on paper or are they liquid? Just because your making X profit today, does not prevent you having a loss in a few years. Bonuses should be based on 2-3 periods and not short term returns.

    Goldman should restrain and try to balance retention with public perception. Maybe looking like they learned something might bring in more business in the future.

    Orlando, FL

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  65. Eric

    They should pay whatever they feel appropriate. If this talent is doing well in these extremely tough times pay them what it takes to keep them, otherwise they will move somewhere else. Goldman has re-payed the TARP that they did not need in the first place (they had enough cash reserves) let them do as they wish.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  66. Meda Saber

    It would mean they lose their right to ever ask for another bailout fron the taxpayers.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  67. Walther Schmit, Salem, OR

    It says to me "screw you middle class".

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  68. Simon

    If they paid the borrowed money back, they get their life back. In a strange way it is nice to see anyone getting back on track.
    If they can be successful now, fair play to them.
    Let them give bonuses!
    I wish my company would!
    Portland, Oregon

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  69. Jerry M.

    The taxpayer saved Goldman and the others in the first place, so why is it that they feel entitled to any bonus at all? Just the thought of it, at a time when 10% of the population is out of work and the worldwide economy is till in meltdown mode, is shameful...and the height of arrogance. Of course, they'll say they paid back TARP, so the government should have no say over their compensation. What they won't tell you is that they still have $30 billion in FDIC guaranteed bonds, for which we, as taxpayers, are footing the bill. Or that they received $12.9 billion in cash straight from you and me via the government, using AIG as a conduit. Or that they've exchanged tens of billiions of dollars in toxic assets for Treasuries via the Fed's discount window...also courtesy of us. We saved their business, lowered their spreads, rescued all their jobs, eliminated their competition (bye bye Lehman and Bear Stearns and Merrill) and now they're thumbing their noses at us. Shame on them, and shame on us if we don't demand that Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and our president demand a change in their compensation. Now! How is this even close to acceptable.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  70. Michael

    If they took TARP money then I hope they at least paid back with some interest. I believe if they paid out millions in bonus that the people outraged about it should simply withdraw all their money out of the bank, that's the only way to truely get our message out, by hurting their wallets. We should have a public forum listing these companies and the rewarding of the already wealthy with enormous payouts. I worked for Caterpillar and the ceo got 24 million in bonus (9 million higher then the year before) and 2 months later I got my lay off notice.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  71. Drew

    Although these record bonuses wouldn't violate any laws, agreements, etc., they are perhaps the most clear indication yet that the global economic system as it stands regularly violates the interests of regular people – the people that do the real work.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  72. Ralph Nelson

    Screw America. Time to bust these financial institutions up using anti-trust law. Enough's enough. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  73. Jason

    The message that this sends is that they care nothing for what is happening in the world and are interested in their own greed. If they truely had any compassion, they would donate those bonuses to the hundreds of charities now struggling to survive because of high unemployement effecting the ability of those who would normally donate to give.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  74. Peter

    If the company has a clear and responsible plan in place that is based on results then the bonuses should be paid. Why not reward the people who have helped acheive what most other companies have not.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  75. Jeff

    The best thing for everyone is for Goldman-Sachs to pay the bonuses if they've been earned. The company has paid back the TARP funds and is showing strong business growth in a sector that has been decimated over the last 18 months. Perhaps this will help bring some much needed enthusiasm to eclipse the pervasive doom-and-gloom in the financial industry.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  76. Ken

    I say if they are not using Public Money to pay their shareholders, then the payout should reflect the profit's the company has made.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  77. John

    The rich get richer....ad nauseum

    June 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  78. Anthony Dallas, TX

    The more important question is: who cares??? I'm so tired of people pointing the finger at the very businesses who keep this country afloat and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans. For God sakes. Let it go. Quit trying to find someone else to blame for your misery and do something yourself to fix your situation.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  79. Aaron

    If they have paid back their borrowed TARP money, with interest, and if the SEC is looking over what they are doing so we don't fall right back into this whole mess, then they are free to do whatever the heck they want it is the free market. Likewise I do believe that the crooks who originally created this problem should be brought to justice. There are tons of bankers out there that got away with stealing the wealth of America. Somehow we have still failed to bring those responsible to justice.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  80. Mary, Texas

    The message is that they really didn't need the money they got from the government. All they did was invest the money, collect their investment return and now they give the money back to the government. What a country!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  81. John Lightstone

    How about paying taxpayers bonuses for bailing them out.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  82. Bryan from Georgia

    Jack – Hank Paulson is reaping the benefits of what he sewed last year!

    CNN should investigate the amount of money Goldman's has contributed to political campaigns, and for lobbying efforts - and which politicians are receiving them.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  83. MarktoMyth

    They are pond scum and have made a mockery out of free markets, capitalism and democracy by bribing and infiltrating governments all over the world with their corruption, market interventions and taxpayer funded risk taking. Their mark to myth accounting is the only thing that allows them to claim a profit and now they will unload their toxic waste on yet more gullible fools. Avoid them at all costs and drive them out of our government.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  84. Niki in Houston, TX

    I question why these people that are already multi millionaires, some hundreds of times over need to receive any MORE money from the financial institution that saw profits due to the work of the MAJORITY of employees that will most likely see no bonus at all? Funny how those at the top always remember to reward themselves with raises and bonuses, but the little people, those that actually keep the company running see nothing? I would also like to point out that Goldman, like all financial institutions make profits off the backs of people that work hard and use their services for retirement income and so forth. Will they pay bonuses to all those people that made it possible for them to see profits? The fact that they needed TARP money says that somewhere, someone wasn't running their business right. If it weren't for the loan from tax payers they too might have sunk like Lehman, Bear,Merrill and others. How about this; they forego giving themselves anymore money, and thank those that saved their butt, with checks instead?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  85. Garrett

    Who cares what they pay their executives? They paid back the government's TARP money, so they have no further obligation to taxpayers who are not customers. Leave them alone and focus on the real financial issue: people who take out loans they can't handle.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  86. Jorge

    It would send a clear message that they consider themselves independent from the US government. They clearly want to be free to do what they please by returning the TARP money and in some sense I believe they should be left alone if that is what they do. At the end of the day, if they stay not only afloat but remain profitable, there is little the government or the public can do to condemn their paying of bonuses.

    One thing is when they use public money to pay bonuses, a much different thing is when they use their own money to do so, maybe we believe it could be used better investing somewhere else or helping the economy or whatever, but it is not our money to choose how it will be finally spent.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  87. Carole Feist

    Don't do it!! For God's sake, our economy is in shambles, millions and millions are unemployed, most people can't get loans, home sales are very stagnant, etc. Talk about greed. I wasn't for a financial committee to oversee the banking industry, but this boondoggle may change my mind.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  88. Patrick Riley

    Unfortunately you cannot do anything to them. Our political leaders allowed us to be fleeced and we are paying for it by having our homes foreclosed, our credit card intrest rates raised, and all of the burdens placed on the taxpayers. The division between the "haves" and "have nots" has just gotten bigger. Thank you President Obama, ex Preident Bush, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  89. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    More bad behavior from Corporate America.

    There must be, a ceiling placed on any annual corporate bonus, and the incentive to manipulate the stock values, must be taken away, by taking away the stock options.

    It is time to stop the marauding.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  90. Nate

    It's ok Jack. This money will all trickle down the the middle and lower classes. That's how it works. The wealthy in this country are what makes this country great and when they do well everyone else does well. Since all that money will trickle down we should be proud of the hard work these people are doing. We should be confident that the recession is over and that we will not go hungry. Afterall these people are entitled to earn so much because they are smarter and better than the rest of us. They earned it!! We should also urge President Obama to extend and even broaden the tax cuts for these individuals. They are saving the economy by doing their patriotic duty- earning as much money as they can.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  91. Dave Orban

    Goldman better pray that it never needs another shot of bailout money.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  92. Ted

    I think it shows that the greed on Wall Street, that has put America in the financial crisis it is in, is still alive and well. It shows just how little of the American Dream is only for the rich and when they get in trouble they want the American taxpayer to help them get out of trouble so they can go back to business as usual.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  93. Lary

    The message is that despite our current administrations goal to control every aspect of our life capitalism is alive and well. Here are a thousand people with a million bucks each that will certainly stimulate the economy wherever they are. Kudos to Goldman Sachs for thumbing their nose at socialism.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  94. Milwaukee

    That sounds great since they are making money and have paid the TARP funds back in full, but I'm sure the administration and media will use it as more fuel for class warfare.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  95. Ed

    Now is the time for restructuring your company's bonus payment plan that rewards managers for looking out for the long term health of the company and the economy. If you bonus structure is the same as it has always been then what did we learn form the resession. It is time to get back to providing investments that are a win win for the customers as well as the investment bank.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  96. Janice from Kansas

    Those who don't remember the past are condemn to repeat it in the future.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  97. carlos madeira portugal

    hi jack
    it will be a good message ,till the next financial trouble comes around,than there will be a big commotion to repay these bonuses,back,so i think u have a job do it to your best,when the finacial houses go bang ,no one give the bonuses back,all these people get a salary for what they do ,give the bonuses to the unemployed ,they need it most,not the fat cats,

    June 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  98. Dee in sunny Florida

    Jack, it means that somwhow it will be Obama's fault!

    At least, that is what many people will say, those who just cannot seem to understand that our current fiscal problems were caused by an overabundance of greed. But no matter what the truth is, some will jump on the blame wagon and say it is the President's fault.

    Personally, I plan to request a prospectus from Goldman-Sachs and get the names of every honcho I can, then send them a personal letter explaining why I think they are as unpatriotic as if they had consorted with the enemy in time of war! Plus, that they are greedy pigs!

    I know, they won't give a hoot, but it will make me feel momentarily good.

    Why would anyone think that the collapse of our economy would teach the money-grubbers a lesson.

    And hasn't this greedy behavior been one of the precipitating factors in every revolution throughout history!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  99. TMac

    Take a small company whom elected to over pay its owners and management at the cost of profit. That small business owner is not an owner for very long. The management would be considered poor business managers. Impressions of gutting the company assets at the cost of the business would surface.
    Take a publicly held company that does the same thing is considered corporate entitlement. Unless American stockholders wake up and sell, dump and never buy again until these practices are halted, they will never see returns or stronger infatructure in the business they are part owner of. They will only support the super rich in thier entitled lifestyles.
    I've personally seen large financial companies cut american jobs to justify a new manager that they over paid by insane amounts. Managers that never produced a higher return for thier investors, nor better positioning or infastrucure for the company. The rich only got richer and investors got nothing and thousands of American workers got laid off and many cities lost revenue by shuting down offices in those states.
    I say if a company is not managing as a prudent man would. DUMP, SELL and BOYCOTT the stock.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  100. John Black Hills/SD

    The message is, they can do whatever they want. That's western capitalism. Your successful when you decide your own worth, and it's golden even in failure.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  101. S

    The message it sends to me is something is wrong in these United States of America if these Girl/Boy Wonders get huge bonuses while the rest of the country is spiraling down. I don't care if you are Gawd himself you don't deserve the kind of money they get. How did we get to this place in our history, where a few get everything and the rest get the leftover crumbs. We have turned into a country we left years and years ago, one with a kingdom with a few of Nobles and the peons doing their bidding.
    I would tell these Gifts to Gawd, No bonuses, if you don't like it we have thousands that will take your place...

    June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  102. Nancy, Tennessee

    The message would be that they don't want to accumulate any profits for bad times. As soon as profits come in, they go out in bonuses. In a year when the bank does bad, do they ask for money back from those who got bonuses in a record year? No, and one year does not define the health of a bank. Bonuses should be reserved until a trend is established that the bank is making a profit. Then reasonable bonuses should be paid to deserving employees.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  103. Gary Platek

    So they made money because we gave them a big loan. If they hadn't had the loan they would have gone bankrupt. The question is how did they profit and aren't the US taxpayers due a bonus on their investment?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  104. Mike from Indiana

    The message it sends me, is that we should tax the heck out of income over $250,000, as Obama promised in his campagne.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  105. Chris, Arlington, VA

    Bonuses at Goldman send the message that it is a successful, incentive-driven company, and this question sends the message that we are focusing on the wrong things. When it comes to throwing large sums of money around, I'm more worried about what people are doing with my money than how private companies allocate theirs. Government spending habits directly affect my wallet, Goldman's does not, and I'm pretty sure that right now more checks are being written in Washington than on Wall Street.

    Chris, Arlington, VA

    June 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  106. Pepper from Calif

    What message would it send if Goldman Sachs makes the biggest bonus payouts in its 140-year history?

    The message is that big businesses run the government and the government acts as lapdogs to the government.

    It means Bush gave his friends as Goldman Sachs money and we the people are paying for it.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  107. John Wesley


    We need a revolution against the banking industry!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  108. Nick Data

    That's a tough one Jack, but if they truly have their most profitable year ever, then the bonus should be more than a less profitable year. I also don't know if excessive bonuses really brought down the financial system- that was definitely more on the excessive risk side WHILE doing the bonuses.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  109. Henry Cubillan

    That's great news! If folks at Goldman Sachs are over-performing against the targets set by the firm, then they *should* get paid great bonuses, regardless of what is happening in the broader economy. The last time I checked, we weren't a socialist or communist country, and this shows that capitalism, while a bit frayed around the edges, is still alive and well. I live by the mantra of pay for performance, personal choices, and driving for success. Rather than envying their bonuses, I'm glad to see Goldman Sachs performing strongly and its people being recognized for their success. Bravo!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  110. Brad Jorgensen

    If banks are making record profits then where are the loans for automobiles both new and used?????? I understand that Goldman Sachs is an investment banker but wouldn't it make sense that the other banks would be making money too.

    Let's open up the credit markets a little not like it used to be but at least to have a chance for an approval while rates are down and let the people help to push this economy forward.

    It seems that some of corporate america is getting fatter while the little people are still struggling to make ends meet.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  111. the rector

    If they actually paid back all the money with interest that they owe the taxpayers, then they can do what they like as far as I am concerened. Ofcourse obama gave them the green light to pay out those bonuses even if they haven't paid us back so it all a moot point . Isn't it?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  112. Steve Kahlenbeck

    Massive bonuses in the face of this difficult recession will further alienate the average, hard working person who has had to tighten their financial belt, or who may have lost their job entirely. If society begins to see most bankers as greedy and our of touch with the common person, there is a growing chance that legislation may emerge that limits or penalizes massive compensation and bonuses. Bankers may be biting themselves in the rear end!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  113. Michael Ottavio

    The biggest problem that I have with this is that Goldman Sachs hedged alot of their credit default swaps losses through AIG. AIG payed out billions of dollars on these "bets" to GS with the taxpayer bailout money that went to AIG. Goldman Sach's slate is not and should not be wiped clean until AIG has repaid all of the taxpayer bailout money. If AIG went belly up and could not make the payouts to GS they very well may have gone bankrupt or at the very least required more TARP money.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  114. Stephen

    Nothing wrong with a bonus for a job well done. If the company has repaid the government, is in good financial standing and has the ability to reward its employees, it can do whatever it wants. Besides, what's $1 million to Goldman Sachs?

    June 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  115. Some guy

    People can whine all they want about CEOs and others getting big bonuses but those people have more to lose than your average "Joe" if they blow it. They risk more so they should be compensated decently if all goes well.

    I can see getting mad if they bring the company down and are still getting a bonus, though. And there should definitely be consequences for their actions if they hurt more than just the company other than loss of job and pay.

    If you still want to complain about their salaries and bonuses, look no further than the people that put them in charge.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  116. Greg

    What is it going to take for Americans to stand up to this crap. OBama is somewhat of a let down here. These greedy banking clowns have bled the system of jobs and stability and they are rewarding their own sorry asses for a job well done. A disgusting example of America at work.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  117. Jans Florida

    No one should be surprised. There is less competition and if the banks play by the new goverments rules the bonuses will be even bigger in the future.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  118. michael vidor

    In all deference to appropriate questions like these Jack, they are becoming more and more rhetorical – predestined to the archives of inexplicable motives. Regardless what the polls say or what I or we think, the old desperate establishment will preserve their means to the death of laissez faire capitalism and democracy. This too seems to have been predestined. The sense of futility is overwhelming at times.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  119. lance from columbus OH

    Here we go again

    June 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  120. Drew

    Did they repay the $10 billion in government bailout funds they received? Are they handing out 7million pounds of bonuses to minimize their taxable profits (cheat those who bailed them out)? Don't people get it, this was their money and now it's Goldman’s. If a company can make enough profit in 1 year to pay out over $20billion to workers and the government, plus I assume additional money to shareholders then all this indicates to me is that either the GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS just a HOAX or Goldman is yet again working another scam. If I had investments at GS I’d yank them before they can pull a Madoff. I’m not sure what fantasy world the GS employees are living in but to the casual observer this has to be absurd.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  121. Nick Lipple

    Sounds like they deserved it. Their company is extremely profitable and they deserve to be rewarded. The only reason it was inappropriate before is because record bonuses were being given out at failing companies.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  122. john boyd


    I would ask both our Government Officials and Goldman Officials how much interest did Goldman pay on the 10 billion in TARP money they received. I bet it was lower than the average credit card interest rate.


    June 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  123. Andrea

    Unless one is a stockholder, creditor, employee or vendor to whom GS owes money, I don't see that it is anyone's right to "interpret" this. And if I were GS's management, I would interpret any media hype about this as a sign that the company should be taken private once more, so that this info would not even have to be released to the public. If someone is so jealous of these bankers, they are welcome to bust their buts to get degrees from the country's top schools, maintain crystal clean criminal AND credit records, and get a job working 80 hour weeks for Goldman.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  124. Gregg

    This coult not be the WORST time in history to give out excessively large bonuses – this will further erode consumer confidence and extends the entire spectrum of negative light on the finance services industry. The perception in the general public is that they are lining their pockets again by putting self-interest ahead of the shareholders.

    There needs to be a change in the corporate mindset, instead they are choosing "business as usual" all over again...

    San Francisco Bay Area

    June 22, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  125. Emerson, Los Angeles

    What message would it send? I think it's pretty obvious: "Congratulations for working here, where you can take from everyone and pad the pockets of both ourselves and our stockholders."

    June 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  126. Nick Data

    Tinley Park, IL. That’s a tough one Jack, but if they truly have their most profitable year ever, then the bonus should be more than a less profitable year. The message I then expect is that they truly are being profitable again, as long as it's not inflated by excessive risk.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  127. Aqua Vista

    I'm sure they feel that profiting from the collapse of the society that made their company is just good business. They are laughing their way to the...well you know what I mean. Gee, I wonder which ex-Goldman Sachs employee Obama will turn to for advise on this.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  128. Frank

    It would say that their attitude hasn't changed and they still live by the mantra of " Greed is Good".

    Charlotte, NC

    June 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  129. Joseph Leff

    Obviously they have no financial problems. In fact, the whole potential "systemic failure" was a farce. Let them live or die the way they want. According to Darwin (but not creationism), that's how things are supposed to work.

    Joe in Delray Beach, FL

    June 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  130. Allen

    It would be bad timing and would not be prudent, but that is the nature of true capitalism. The rich get richer and the gap widens between them and the rest of us.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  131. Christopher

    If they have the money to pay back the TARP funds they were forced to accept, and made record profits, they can get whatever bonuses they had specified in their contracts. Government needs to butt out of private business before they ruin it, just as they have anything else they've touched.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  132. Tom in Austin, Tx

    They are a private company and can do what they wish.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  133. Catty

    2 messages.....things aren't as bad as we think they are, and whoever works for them and successfully guided them through this crap storm is worth giving a bonus to!!!

    But wouldn't a better message be given by increasing dividends instead of employee bonuses? Than everyone wins!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  134. Sue

    It is sending the same message as the banks who cut people's and business' credit lines and then turn around and get taxpayer money and sit on it and pay themselves while its too bad for the rest of us. It point blank says – they don't care and there are different rules for different people.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  135. Damion

    Thieves. WHo among us has had their portfolio increase? Bonuses for what? Taking more fees from the public. Buy stocks directly and eliminate brokerage fees.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  136. Mark

    If nothing else, they certainly do love themselves!

    June 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  137. Nordraak

    If Goldman Sachs has truly repaid all the money they borrowed from the taxpayers then let them do what they will with the bonuses. Our system is based on capitalism and free enterprise. I think the gov't should put in place a restriction that since it "was bailed out" this one time, it can never be bailed out ever again, so they need to watch how they save should their company get in trouble again.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  138. Sue, Montgomery, NY

    That the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It seems to me that Goldman Sachs has made out better because of the economic crisis. They have friends in high places.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  139. Kevin

    It tells me that the company made a lot of money, (interest, dividends, etc) off of TARP. Heck Give me 10 Billion for a couple months and I will repay it back and keep the interest.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  140. Mark B

    Wouldn't it send the right message? That the bank has been able to achieve record profits while operating under what is clearly increased scrutiny and regulatory oversight is to be applauded and encouraged. Those arguing that they don't deserve their bonuses (however large they may be) at this point would reveal their true motivation: whining about the fact that some people have disproportionately high paying jobs. It frustrates me too, but jealousy is not the right motivator for regulation.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  141. Michael

    Hey, if they performed and achieved profits legally then they should receive bonuses. Is that not the American way? Sure we need to keep the bonus in perspective to the economical conditions, but they earned these bonuses fair and square. If we are going to regulate everything in our society, then we may as well say good bye to innovation and the profit motive that has make this country great.

    If these guys made the profits with Government bail-out money then the story changes.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  142. Louie

    I actually find it encouraging that they might pay these huge bonuses. If a struggling bank that was asking for more and more bailout money were doing this, obviously I would be upset. But if Goldman is doing well enough that they've not only repaid their TARP money but can also pay huge bonuses, more power to them. I find it a welcome change of pace to see a headline about a bank use the word "record" before something other than "losses" or "foreclosures."

    Chicago, IL

    June 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  143. pw

    That's capitalism. They paid up, they can do what any other profitable company has the right to do.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  144. Sean, CHI USA

    Since Goldman Sachs appears to be operating on their own funds, they are free to do whatever they wish. Having said that–should they find themselves in a similar predicament again, there shouldn't be a safety net next time.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  145. Tom decatur AL

    I think it would be a calculated risk and the risk would be all theirs because many of their investors have been hard hit and would see record bonuses as a slap in the face

    June 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  146. Tony

    What would happen if they don't pay out bigger bonuses? Would they hire a bunch of unqualified people into meaningless jobs so that more people have jobs? Would the board of directors keep the extra money not being paid in bonuses themselves? Should the government just take the money from them like a scolding parent? Penalty for being able to pay it back so fast.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  147. Nico Janssen

    How many orphans/widows do you have to rip off to come up with one one THOUSAND million dollar bonuses!

    Nico Janssen,
    Houston, Texas

    June 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  148. Jan M.

    What a sad reflection on our society that people who earn relatively high base salaries to be begin with need additional incentives to behave properly. Maybe the CEO should get out into the real world where regular people are more than capable of doing the job they are paid to do without the need for additional bribes. How about instead of bonuses for behaving properly, we give out the prison sentences so many of them deserve for breaking the law! These people need to stop behaving like a bunch of spoilt little kids.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  149. George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

    The message???
    We have no desire or need to demonstrate any gratitude, remorse or contrition. We have no friends, no obligations, no allegiance, no concerns for anyone or anything outside our doors.
    We do what we do because we want to, because we CAN! It doesn't matter how we look to you. Take what we offer when we offer it or don't, we don't care, we don't need you now.

    But be assured, if our attitude gets us between a rock and a hard place, we will be back demanding that you save us again

    June 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  150. Beckwith B. Miller

    The core problem is a lack of ethics in banking. Banks are failing to comply with the code of ethics per Sarbanes-Oxley on complying with laws and regulations and reliable financial reporting. In an effort to restore ethics in banking, our firm just released Ethics Ratings on the largest banks. I am the CEO of Ethics Metrics.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  151. Josh

    Blow it when you got it. Beg for it when you don't.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  152. Robert Schulz

    As long as they repaid their TARP money who are we to decide what bonuses are paid out? Its easy from the outside to say that the bonuses are exceptional but if you are one of the high performers and generating large amounts of revenue for the organization only be told by people from the outside that you dont deserve the bonus you might feel different. Should we expect large bonuses to executives at failing companies being given government money, no. Should we expect bonuses to executives who are able to turn a company around, pay back government loans, and generate record profits, absolutely. This being said, it would be nice for these companies to plan for future downturns and not distribue all the excess revenue to a relative few.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  153. oldtimer

    Look at who these banks were founded by, and who still owns them will answer most every question we have.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  154. Lynda

    The CEO's that have allowed the banks to falter with over-aggressive home loans and risky business, where the bank has had to take a bailout from the federal government, does NOT deserve a bonus. That would mean they were being "promoted" for the failures of the banks in their care. I don't think so!

    If I were to allow any sort of failure at or near the bottom of the totem pole, I would have been fired, given whatever so called severance pay was deemed appropriate, and told "don't let the door hit your backside."

    CEO's should only receive a bonus if the bank did well and helped to promote a healthy financial backing. And One Million Dollars is excessive and inappropriate.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  155. JOHN

    As a spouce of a big bank employee it doesn't surprize me in the least. The real question should be "Have you had enough of Greed, selfeshness, corruption and unfair advantages ? "

    June 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  156. Bob from Rochester

    If they paid back Uncle Sam then I think it's ok to put money back in people's hands. I can only hope that those who need the bonus most get something.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  157. Michael Newman

    OUTRAGEOUS.... This proves that greed wins !....

    June 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  158. Teena

    Once again, greed is rewarded!
    While the hard work of Aaverage Americans has put many on the unemployment line.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  159. Nathan

    Possible bonuses suggest two scenarios. Either they are doing something right and the other investment banks need to learn from them and stop screwing things up or they are grabbing what cash they can before they go under since they had to be given bailout cash in the first place.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  160. Gregory Pierce

    If they really have that much money to pay bonuses, they really should be rewarding their shareholders with MUCH higher dividend payments as well. In addition, it means that since they don't see a need to save any of this excess discretionary money that we need to look very closely at how propping up banks has made the situation worse over time and not better.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  161. Kevin from Colorado

    They paid back the governments money so it's nobodies business what they pay their employees in bonuses. I work for the government and I know it's nobodies business what I got for a bonus this year!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  162. Eugene


    This simply proves the age-old adage, "Whoever has the gold, makes the rules."

    -Eugene P. in Chicago

    June 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  163. Karen - Missouri

    That they're STEALING OUR money! What a ripoff these places are! That's not compensation...it's robbing from the people who trusted them with their money!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  164. Kent

    What it says to me is nothing has changed, business as usual. They continue to make billions while there investors take the losses.

    Investor fraud is alive and well!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  165. Regie -Raleigh, NC

    Goldman Sacks took the $10 billion Tarp money because they made poor investments and were insolvent-when a tax payer becomes insolvent the bank ups their rate on their credit card (non-secured loan) when they are late with a payment. The new rate is almost always twice the rate they had. What kind of rate was Goldman Sacks charged? Were they making payment to us taxpayers? If they did not make monthly payments did we call them and ask where our money was and that this would look bad on their credit? Does the Fed. make them pay a higher rate like Goldman Sacks would do the first chance they got?

    These banks and investment houses have been making money hand over fist with loans to people who could not afford them. "No Problem" we will just redue the loan every few years and the value of the property will cover the loan if we have to foreclose. If they say they were unaware of this they are not smary enough to get a "MILLION DOLLAR BONUS".

    June 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  166. Jerry Lee Cooper Sr.

    Dear Jack,
    I would suggest that large corps need to behave as good citizens
    and invest in the welfare of all our people, city infrastructure.and
    ssystems that we all depend on for daily life. It would be a start in the right direction, would you agree.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  167. alvin

    It says to me that this collapse could have been orchestrated. How can you bailout financial institutions who through nothing but GREED put us in this mess which cause several banks to go under. The banks left, recieved bailout money to help heal the damage THEY did to themselves. On top of everything, because the competition is slim, they are back on top getting millions in bonuses. It is not fair to the American people who are losing their homes every day that some banker on Wall St gets a bonus for what could bring families who are ethical and work very hard out of foreclosure or better yet, put there kids through college.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  168. joe smith

    all one can say, that the old line, (referring to the golden rule ), he who has the gold, rules..maybe they'll remember reagans trickle down, and us pe'ons might be able to snatch some..

    June 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  169. AJ

    If the banking industry is doing so good then how come I am unemployed and my house is under threat of forclosure. Is banking industry not the place where all this trouble stated ?
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    June 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  170. Dean

    What message would it send if Goldman Sachs makes the biggest bonus payouts in its 140-year history?

    In the old days it was "crime does pay", today it is "irresponsibility does pay" if you are irresponsible enough to where taxpayers have to bail you out.


    June 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  171. Jane

    If Goldman Sachs has paid off its TARP debt and has the record profits to justify rewarding bonuses to its employees, then the decision should be based on that fact rather than fear of the public's disapproval.

    Bottom line, if a business has managed its costs and revenues well, then rewarding employees for profitable results is the right thing to do. Besides, when those employees receive their bonuses, they might just spend it and inject the economy with what we need right now.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  172. Jacob, New York City

    If the company has its most profitable year ever, then why shouldn't its executives get their biggest bonuses ever? However, I wonder what CEOs would think if they were made to pay back any bonuses in a period where their company lost money? I think that's only fair.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  173. Barry

    In a time where balance and moderation needs to be the focus of all. How can more money be given to individuals taking advantage of an economic turndown that could crush all. Sad.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  174. kirby Marcantonio


    Gee, I don't know, maybe it WOULD BE WRONG!!!

    I don't care if they're a private firm, when the chips were down they came running to Washington with their hand out, begging for a to bail out.

    And now that they've been helped off the financial canvas they feel entitled to shower wealth on the same flacks who put them on their backs!

    Give me a break, and show a modicum of consideration for the bulk of the country that's still floundering.

    All I know is this, however many millions those Sacks brokers get, they'd better expect a healthy tax bill in the mail the next day.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  175. Loyal Son of Colorado in Colorado

    My message to Goldman Sachs is for them to reveal how much it cost them when they were building what could be the biggest lies factory ever existed.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  176. Ron G

    I only got ignited about the bonuses when they were coming out of taxpayer pockets. We were essentially sponsoring hefty bonuses to executives for making companies fail. Except for that (although I have serious doubts that these guys actually EARN that kind of money) it seems to be much ado about nothing. If a corporation makes that kind of legitimate profit and believes that certain performers were critical to generating that amount of profit, then why should we care? After all, the corporation and the individuals are both paying taxes on, respectively, the profits and the earnings. Our only legitimate gripes center on whether public money or illegitimate enterprise is involved. In a similar vein, where is the hue and cry over the EXORBITANT salaries paid to professional athletes??? They are far far greater than the salaries paid these guys. I mean an average professional athlete near the upper 1/3 of his sport makes a few million per season–even for crappy ones: much like Alex Rodriguez being paid $25mm for about 480 hours of work a year, regardless of the quality of the production.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  177. Spencer from Minneapolis, MN

    The message it would send is that history is sadly doomed to repeat itself. We haven't even gotten out of the current recession, nor will we in the foreseeable future, and the bankers are already looking to line their pockets again with big bonuses. I have a novel concept for Goldman Sachs. How about you keep the cash on your balance sheet? That way when your crack team of financial wiz kids burns the economy to the ground again there won't be a need for a tax payer loan.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  178. Alex

    If the bank earned record profits, I would expect it to pay record bonuses. That is how the system is supposed to work. I believe it's called "incentive." There is a big difference between paying bonuses when a company is profitable and paying bonuses as the company goes down in flames. Don't confuse incentive with looting.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  179. Bryan

    The firm performed at their best rate ever, they paid off all their debts to the government, they should reward their employees as such. Just because YOU can't manage your money well, YOUR investments didn't perform well, and YOU aren't getting a huge bonus doesn't mean that this company should answer to anyone but their shareholders and the board.

    Good for them for doing so well.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  180. Brendan in Phoenix

    Jack, the message they send by paying bonuses should tide over everyone who feared that the government was socializing the banking industry. They're reengaging in capitalism, and seem healthy enough to do it. But if they come crawling back to the government for more bailout money, I'm getting my torch and pitchfork out of the closet and I guarantee you I won't be alone.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  181. pv

    it sickens me that Goldman Sachs is the most profitable one of the bunch considering Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen's roles in both Goldman Sachs and TARP.

    We were reemed by the Republican Party.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  182. Chad from Los Angeles

    It means Capitalism is still alive and well. So much for our country turning to Socialism, but that was an idiotic claim anyways.
    Congrats to Goldman Sachs for showing the financial system can recover somewhat, just hope the profits were earned ethically.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  183. Allen

    It would tell me that bankers live in the same world as politicians
    and we all know that isn't a real world. In the real world we get a big raise or bonus it will buy a new chair or maybe a swimming pool for junior. In the banking and political world it will buy a yacht or a vaction
    in europe for a month.It's time that bankers looked after all their investors not just the blue chip ones and politicians had to buy health insurance on the open market with the rest of us.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  184. Tired Of Being Taxed 2 Death

    But of course they will. I'm still waiting to see people held accountable for our current financial crisis. And I want our politicians to be paid equally with other govt. employees i.e.: teachers, firemen, police. Let them know the real world as the rest of us do. And they'll have to pay SS for life just like us and no fancy cafeterias paid for by taxpayers either.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  185. Toni from OK

    I like everything Obama has done to try and fix the mess left to his Administration so far but I think he needs to get firmer with the banks.

    Goldman Sachs needs to pay it all back. If not I think they should be charged extra for this loan.

    Regarding the above comment on health care, I agree and I'll add that we might all be moving to another country for better health care and lower premiums, etc. They need to get this done or this economy will never be fixed.

    To scare people the GOP did not even use the Public Option figures in the prejection figures which would be lower than the one they used without the Public Option figures included. That is called cheating.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |

    That kind of money is beyond my pay scale. The Stock Holders at Goldman Sachs should have an election and put in a new board. This is a bad situation, there is not a person worth this kind of money.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  187. Tim

    For those of you who do not know much about the finance industry, Goldman is the only bank who remained profitable and had smarter people who steered themselves away from bad bets that led to other banks' downfall. What they earned is rightly deserved. The bonuses are not coming from taxpayer money, unlike various other banks and a multitude of American companies that are receiving bailout money to pay works that machines can replace.

    Goldman doesn't get government contracts. It gets its profits from private deals and smarter traders that knew when to short the market when things didn't smell right. I have several friends who are traders at Goldman and they money because they really do their homework, and good for them. Bout time rewards don't just go to people who stick their hands out asking for handouts. Goldman never neeeded any TARP money, and gave it back the first chance it got.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  188. Remy

    I thought they would have learned better by now.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  189. Ron Spears

    In your face taxpayer. We are the powerful – the untouchables!
    We have bought your congressman like it or not.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  190. Gary

    How do I become a banker? Sounds like a good gig to me!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  191. Richard Preston

    Split the bonus's equally amongst all the employees.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  192. Marguerite Birkenhead

    Clearly Goldman Sachs are a bunch of crooks that took advantage of Obama's good nature in not wanting the economy to tank. However, CNN should cover the fact that if Democrats would just act like Democrats instead of appeasing Republicans we would all be better off. This means legalizing marijuana, national health care plan with pharamaceutical companies lowering their prices; demand cheap hybrid cars for the public; loan modifications for all us mortgage holders whom have been paying on time; and ridding all taxes on homeowners and have sales tax pay for counties and their schools.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  193. Jim Smith Ozark, MO

    Free enterprise. Bonuses matched to performance. Goldman Sachs: a civilian organization rather than a government agency. Where's the problem? If GS paid back the money, why does GS owe anyone apologies or anything? Those bonuses are part of the pay equation to hire the 'best' employees in a job. Why should people not receive their income if their bosses feel they deserve the pay? Because some others are broke, lost their jobs, or whatever? Because they didn't get the education needed to get the better jobs? Because Capitalism isn't fair and equal pay for everyone? Ughhh...that's why we're capitalists not socialists. Move on.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  194. Kathy

    The message to me would be that of utter arrogance; and that's the problem. If these bonuses are actually being considered after the reality of uncontrolled, unbridled greed brought us tumbling down, then the message is clear hat the mindset that brought us here, continues. Greed is good. America's sad mantra.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  195. Steve

    They paid the TARP money back and are free to do as thay please. If you don't like it then don't do business with them

    June 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  196. Donna Edgar

    I think people may elect to put their money and trust in a good Credit Union and stop giving business to these fat cat bankers.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  197. Annie, Atlanta

    The message is Greed wins every time, especially when sanctioned by politicians who reap the benefits. I’m trying to figure out how to get in on one of these scams. Just one bonus is all it would ever take to make life simple again.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  198. Glen - Bayonne, NJ

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  199. Peter M

    It simply means that they are greedy and selfish. These guys are the reason why this country is so messed up economically.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  200. MQu

    Jack, this is Irresponsible greed. No lessons learned obviously.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  201. James Mansavage

    I'll be happy when I see investment bankers hanging from lamp posts on Wall Street.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  202. Sherrol in Canada

    It means they shouldn't have been bailed out in the frist place......Geez!!!!

    ....and don't they owe the Gov't more billions?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  203. UbikValis2

    It's called "privatize the profits, socialize the losses." Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions know now that if they fail on a massive scale, they can expect to be bailed out with trillions of taxpayers dollars. So now they are free to gamble even more excessively, and of course, the higher the risks the rewards. If everything goes well, they can expect record profits. If the bets go sour, the government will take care of them. As long as they are "too big to fail" they are safe!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  204. marcus (seattle)

    how does that saying go about an idiot being someone who engages in the same activity over and over, expecting different results... for those who never truly enjoyed studying the fall of the roman empire, when you were forced to study world history in high school, it's ok... you get to see the repeat of it in US history..

    June 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  205. John


    June 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  206. Guy

    Well Jack, That means our money was used to save them a few months and now what saved them will be used to buy more crooks some gifts until next time they need tax payers help.
    They need to keep talents? Which ones?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  207. Darren

    Hard times are only truly hard on the little guy.
    The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.
    Can you imagine a million dollar bonus! If I got a million dollar bonus I would quit my job immediatly and enjoy the rest of my life.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  208. Ben Burge

    Sounds like an excellent reason to do no business with them and make no use of their services. After all, to pay such insane bonuses, they obviously have to get at least some of that money from their clients, and presumably, their clients are struggling like everyone else. Who wants to pay high fees for the financial services offered by a firm like this one just so they can pay their highest bonuses ever while most others are suffering through one of this nation's biggest financial crises?


    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  209. Bob Lahr

    It means the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so whats new?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  210. Angie

    Why Jack what do you expect? The Government's picking winners a losers. It's no surprize that they pick their friends to be winners and you and I and the rest of the saps to be losers.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  211. charles a. NYC

    the message is that if you're a customer of goldman sachs, your money is going to pay out bonuses, no matter how much of your money they lose, or how poorly their people perform. these exec's getting the payout are not pouring money back into the economy- they're going to disappear. maybe into the grand caymans. way to help the rest of the world recover. the world goes down, so does goldman sachs.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  212. Clyde from Pensacola

    Hearing this brings back memories of New York shell games....You know you just been had, but first time around shame on the thief, second time shame on you or is that (US) if they do it again.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  213. Martin in France

    It would send a great message that not all companies are struggling and there is hope ahead! Some companies can manage through these times well.

    Companies are asking employees (such as British airways) to work for free, take unpaid leave etc when times are tough. We've got to expect the reverse – when times are good, reward the staff !

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  214. Andrew

    This may sound drastic but I think this form of extreme capitalism doesn't help the majority of the people. Regardless that they paid what they borrowed. They wouldn't be thinking of these bonuses without "TAXPAYERS" money. Someone has to set some new rules.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  215. Ashley C.

    I think it is great that they have the ability to pay big bonuses. Companies that are profitable should have the ability to do that. This is what makes capitalism work. If big bonuses are outlawed or frowned upon, what motivation is there to improve performance or exceed expectations? I think the bonuses will also send a sign to the world that the U.S. financial markets well on their way to recovery. This could go a long way in improving consumer confidence and helping the economy to rebound. Instead of looking at Goldman Sachs with disgust, we should be applauding them.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  216. John in Texas

    The excess compensation that Goldman and other large corporations engage in is at the root of the problem of corporations seeking short term gains and the lack in long term investment in America. It was the root cause of the failure of ENRON and several banks.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  217. Eric

    It sickens me, and makes me wonder if it really matters who we elect anymore. The corporations dumped the bad debt on the American public and went on their merry way. I cannot believe that we are allowing them to even CONSIDER giving out any bonuses.

    The wall street scum were lying through their teeth when this all happened, and nothing has changed.

    Trumbull, CT

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  218. Nereida Garcia

    Golmand Sachs must be doing something right if they paid back their loan and managed to pay off bonuses. I'm currently unemployed, would love to return to New York. Whom should I address my resume to?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  219. AspenFreePress

    There shouldn't be any bonuses to cut!
    Sterling Greenwood/Aspen

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  220. George

    It's their money. As long as they are not cheating, lying, or engaged in other dishonest ventures, let them do with it what they want.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  221. JP

    No surprise that Goldman is making money hand over fist. They have Goldman alumni in the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and other key positions in government. They buy politicians by the gross with all their campaign contributions. GS is the insider's insider. No surprise they are making out like the bandits they are.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  222. nate

    It's a private firm and they can do whatever they want. Congrats to GS for being on track for a record year. If they make it, the bankers getting the payouts probably deserve every cent, and maybe a little extra for the way that they have all been vilified by the media.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  223. Josh - IL

    This is a question for the shareholders, not the public. They paid back the TARP, and therefore, the taxpayers have no say. If you are a shareholder in Goldman Sachs and you have a problem with this, voice your displeasure. Goldman Sachs should do with their profits whatever is in the best interest of their shareholders. If that means they need to overpay their employees in order to keep the rainmakers, then so be it.

    Honestly, I don't think they should pay these big bonuses but not out of any sense of morality or duty to the public. Large bonuses lead to greater risk-taking which is what got us in this mess. IMO – the bonuses will be big, but I don't think they will reach the level of 2007 bonuses.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  224. James Richmond Virginia

    Greed pays.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  225. walter r. brookhart

    So Goldman Sachs may have its "most profitable" year ever, leading to the payment of "record" bonuses. Has everyone forgotten about the $13 BILLION of taxpayer money funneled to Goldman throught AIGduring the last nine months!!!! Sure, Goldman paid back the $10 BILLION of TARP money it took through the front door. But the $13 BILLION laundered through AIG and taken in the back door would appear to have gone straight to the bottom line. And for participating in this scam on the taxpayers, Goldman proposes to reward its "bankers" with "record" bonuses. When Jesse James entered a bank, the criminals were on the outside of the teller windows with the customers, in this "new era of responsibility" the criminals are clearly in management masquarading as "bankers."

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  226. Mike in Wisconsin

    The message is: I should have become an investment banker!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  227. Ron Ouellette

    That's an easy one, their prevailing attitude is "I HAVE MINE, SO GO AND GET YOURS!", these crooks don't care, greed is their one and
    only idea and they could care less about others. My solution to that
    is that when things get back to normal that NO ONE, NO ONE does
    any business with these morons, if you have business with them
    you withdraw it and remind them of their attitude when things were
    bad for you and good for them. GREED will ALWAYS REAR ITS UGLY
    Ron – Florida

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  228. Jan

    Selfish, greedy behavior is hard to irradicate, so why should we try?
    Why should we care if people are living on the streets, losing their homes and jobs? Let them eat cake.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  229. Ronald Holst

    Jack It tell me nothing has Changed In corporate America. Not
    Really You would think That Goldman sacks Is Doing well But Then Again No one thought AIG Or any of this others were having any problems until they Collapsed . The Rich Get rich and The poor like myself Keeps getting it where the sun dose not shine .

    Ronald San Antonio

    June 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  230. Manson

    By saying that they can get these bonuses we are pretty much turning the page. Did they all forget that we are still in a recession. They cant do that. Presisdent Obama needs to pass legislature to say that they cant give out bonuses to companies that took in money from us the american tax payers. But I think the most important thing that we need to see it that big companies re read the root word of a a bonuses. Bonus!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  231. Cheryl Verona New Jersey

    It means that the banks are doing well which we should be thankful for because that is what will keep the economy from collapsing. Why is it such a bad thing to make money these days? I know my husband, working in the financial sector, has paid his dues coming from very little and deserves every penny he recieves. This is America the land of opportunity!!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  232. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    If Goldman Sachs did so well that they felt they needed to convert from an investment bank, to a commercial bank so they could receive TARP funds then their performance wasn't so hot. Furthermore, the great profits they are showing is from payment of those nefarious credit default swaps they bought from AIG. So their "profit" is from taxpayer bailout funds to support naked gambles that never should have been allowed. All in all Goldman Sachs bonuses, like all of Wall Streets should have minus signs in front of them until all of the taxpayer bailout funds are repaid.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  233. Doug

    I wonder if AIG paid Any credit default swap to Goldman sachs?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  234. Kiran

    I think it's Goldman Sach's right to do so, after all they have paid back all they owe to the taxpayer. The only ones they are accountable to now are their shareholders and customers. So much for the "socialism" that was supposed to take over the United States

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  235. Christian in Miami

    I have my 401K with Goldman Sachs, and I'm seeing my funds grow bigger and bigger in this struggling economy. I think if business is good at GS and its shareholders are happy with their portfolios, I say why not give them the bonuses so they keep up the good work.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  236. Alex, Florida

    It's no wonder they turned in record profits; half the people at the Fed and Treasury are ex Goldman employees and the other half are future Goldman employies... What a joke!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  237. Nestor, Austin, TX

    It means that there will be a lot of people in the restaurant and retail industry in NYC that will keep their jobs because these people will have bonus money to spend. It also means that the City of New York might actually make its budget on the tax money that will be infused in the city due to these bonuses.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  238. john

    It helps to have connected friends. Under Bush's Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (former Goldman Sachs CEO), billions of the $182 billion AIG bailout went straight to GS to salvage credit default swaps. GS was made whole, 100 cents on the dollar, without any negotiation on the part of Treasury. You could argue that these bonuses are being paid from the AIG bailout money.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  239. d

    As long as they are making money and not cutting the jobs of the rank and file employees or taking away benefits from their employees or moving jobs to low paying foreign countries I don't see a problem. I see a problem when they start cutting jobs, benefits, salaries etc from their non-executive employees at the same time they are handing out these type bonuses. It might be nice if they cut the cost of their services since most people are in a bind but I don't really expect that to happen.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  240. Jim in Mississippi

    Shady dealings at Goldman Sachs were at the bottom of this whole financial melt-down. Why aren't those guys in prison?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  241. Keith

    Outrageous! To think that Goldman Sachs can repay the taxpayers at 100 cents on the dollar plus interest, and then exercise their right to compensate their people out of the profits they generated (after deducting the paid bill from the government). Geez, you might think capitalism is actually alive and well. What's next - dividends for their shareholders?!?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  242. Pete

    What about the thousands of people who lost their homes, retirement
    savings and jobs due in part to the actions of these same financial
    institutions which will now reap rewards for their greed and ineptitude.

    I think it is time to tax excessively large bonuses and executive pay or we
    will be sending the message to these companies that they should be
    rewarded for business as usual.

    Federal bailouts should never have happened. The inept and corrupt
    should be out of business instead of the tax payers paving the way for
    this outrageous compensation

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  243. Joel

    It would show that they believe they have the best professionals in the industry and that they want to provide those employees with an incentive to stay.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  244. Sue

    It says to me that they still don't get it. In this time when so many people are losing theirr homes and jobs. Haven't they figured out the public has had it with these firms handing out outragous bonus.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  245. Dan

    Wow, Goldman Sachs has done such a great job, its stock is still well below where it was two years ago. How about some of that money going to the folks who own the company? Buy back some stock, pay a nice dividend, do something besides rewarding the jerks who put our economy in the toilet.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  246. Barry Cutler

    It means our buddies at Goldman Sachs still kneel at the altar of "Greed Is Good" and continue to consider those who gave them a helping handout, the American People, damned fools to be lined up and screwed yet again.

    Barry, Palm Desert, CA

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  247. JJones

    You bet PV, it is the republicans fault all the way. Lets face it they are in complete control and George Bush must be behind this as always!!! Amen, take it to those who are in charge. Oh, wait they aren't and Bush is gone. Maybe others have some fault here too....
    By the way Paulsen has only been in his position for less than a year and sold his entire stake in Goldman Sachs prior to his new job.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  248. Rick in Little Rock, Arkansas

    It means that socialism and communism have not reached Goldman Sachs. However, the fact that you would ask such a question, means that it is most assurredly on its way, right?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  249. John Brady

    If the managers at Goldman Sachs want to pay outrageous bonuses because that's what they have always done, then why can't all of the people who do business with Goldman Sachs take their business elsewhere? These people at GS are living in la-la land and believe that
    they are entitled to do whatever they want with their investors' funds,
    profits, etc.

    Is there anyway to fight back and bring an end to this type of excess and arrogance, short of a bloody revolution?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  250. Christian in Miami

    I have my 401K with Goldman Sachs, and I’m seeing my funds grow bigger and bigger in this struggling economy. I think if business is good at GS and its shareholders are happy with their portfolios, I say why not give them the bonuses so they keep up the good work.

    Christian Miami, FL

    June 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  251. Bob Lahr Brooklyn Park, MN.

    The big fat cats get richer while the stockholders and their 401k's continue to lose money, so whats new? Get used to it while capitalism is at work.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  252. Cara Doucette

    If Goldman-Sachs has paid back all that it received from us taxpayers, it can give any bonuses it wants to. Otherwise, it should have to return to the government that exact amount it gives out. The bonuses do not assure good workers, it rewards those who got us into this mess. They should have all been fired. But it is business as usual. The rich get richer and the taxpayers get screwed.
    If they had not received a bailout, how would they have paid the first round of bonuses? How come their CEOs don't have the same restrictions as the car companies? Why are they allowed to spend our money on lobbying?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  253. Kathy

    How many people did they lay off to make those kind of profits?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  254. Matt Schutte

    They will be back begging to be bailed out again. We just don't get it in this country.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  255. Bob Piazza

    Record bonuses just verifies the foolishness of “bailing out” any financial, credit card, bank or other company connected to either the investment market, loan or consumer credit.
    These companies manipulate, control and deceive the people to such an extent that we are foolish enough to provide additional funds for their mischief.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  256. Chris Hutchins

    They display an attitude of (In words attributed to Marie Antionette)-Let them eat cake-. these people are callous to the havoc they have wrought on our country. Our citizens need to go to small banks, businesses and do their business. All these business men are doing is throwing us the crumbs while our country still struggles.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  257. Ed Pustilnik

    Sounds like Capitalism is alive and well, thank God. Anyone who questions the way companies like Goldman or any other spend their money should remember that this is still America regardless of everything that has been happening lately in regard to socializing risk.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  258. Jeffrey in WI

    Why did they need the 10 billion in tarp money if they were doing so well ? Would they of made a record profit with out the tarp money ?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  259. Brett from California

    It clearly demonstrates that the model of Capitalizing Profits and Socializing Risks is the best possible model if you are a corporate executive!

    What could possibly be better than taking huge risks for huge bonuses with the guarantee that the worst that could ever happen is that your bonus might be a bit lower?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  260. Bob Denney

    Did they pay back the TARP funds WITH INTEREST?
    What would be the interest on 10 billion dollars?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  261. Jennifer

    If they paid back all the money they'd borrowed from the taxpayers then I don't care what kind of bonuses they pay out!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  262. Advaita

    easy to pay bonuses when they got 30 billions from AIG (taxpayers money). By the way, AIG's boss has huge stocks in Goldmann!
    That's how they made a great "success"

    June 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  263. Boris

    I think a lot of people posting here are jealous. We are not living in the old USSR where you were required to share the wealth. You should be rewarded for being the best. As far as I know, we are still living in a capitalist country although Obama followers may think otherwise.

    Boris-Chicago, IL

    June 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  264. Jerry

    Goldman borrowed 10 billion from the Governement....Goldman paid it back. Whatever they do with their profits is their business. Hopefully most of that will find its way back into the U.S. economy in the form of a new car, new boat, or anything else that will help move our economy forwards.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  265. sabrina royal oak MI

    The record year may have something to do with finding all the money the rest of us lost, our life savings ,perhaps it was only in a special account, one labeled "Bonus" The money must have been put aside, not to be touched or invested to insure it would be collected later.
    I bet it was a lesson learned from the insurance industry. Invest and only pay out on the interest ,then claim you have no profits while still hanging on to the dollars collected for the purpose of "using for the intention collected" but never touoching it and calling it loss when the projected income is not collected on interest investments.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  266. Rob Galli

    That bonus money that Goldmund Sachs is handing out to their execx is part of the 20 billion that was paid to them by AIG for cdo swaps. Remember?? I would never do business with a financial corporation that paid grandiose bonuses to their execs. Just look at the mess the world is in because of the banking industry and their knowledgeable execs.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  267. Dav4id Maruna

    If they actually outperform everyone who's worked for them in the last 140 years, and have paid back the bailout money, then they deserve it. I doubt, however, that they have met those requirements. I think they absolutely should be compensated as their work desrves. I think, though, that none of them would really like to be paid what they're honestly worth.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  268. Bill

    These people created nothing. They manufactured nothing. Why should they profit? This is capitalism without altruism. There is no balance. These people deal with paper, nothing more. They add nothing of value to our society.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  269. David James

    That it is time for STRICT government regulations for our entire financial system.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  270. Ken in NC

    Goldman Sachs’ message to the public and government is “Screw You Suckers”. It’s OK Jack because they do not have to worry about getting government assistance ever again.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  271. john boyd

    Dear SIr,
    I have a follow up question, if i may. What would have happened to Goldman had they not had the availability to borrow 10 billion from the TARP program? Where would their stock be, how would this years performance really turned out? Isn't the "Bridge Loan" provided by the TARP borrowings the reason they are still in business. Oh, wait a minute perhaps the billions they received from AIG helped them too. The fact is they would be out of business if not for the AIG infusion by the US government and the TARP money. And yet they somehow have escaped having to pay for this by any measure. Bonuses for what, getting "DAD" to bail them out of their troubles?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  272. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Tells me nothing has changed and that the public continues to get ripped off. What the hell, nothing ever changes because of the idiots running Washington it's all about them and their wealthy contributors.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  273. hank, montreal

    The message is that one can make all kinds of money if you have the Treasury Secretary and the Fed. Res. in yr hip pocket. AIG was bailed out so that it could repay at 100% all outstanding trades with Wall st brokers such as Goldman and others and, that's aside from TARP funds and much more dirty deals that Joe Public is not privy to.

    Yeah Jack, any firm can afford humongous bonuses when yr best friends are at the U.S. Treasury and the federal reserve!

    Time to audit the Federal Reserve.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  274. Jon W

    They no longer need to answer to government. Remember, Goldman never asked for the TARP money in the first place. Let them run their own company. A return to capitalism. ...about time !

    June 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  275. Amber

    Good work = bonuses. Goldman's staff performed the best, and deserve to be paid the best.

    I can't believe so many of you seem so butthurt about the fact they're richer than you! These guys aren't all WASPs born into this life- they worked hard, paid their dues, and are now reaping the benefits.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  276. Richard


    This is some of the best economic news we have had in months. My relatively modest federal salary does not stop me from congratulating the high performers at Golman Sachs for facilitating the flow of capital to its most productive use while helping investors minimize risk. We all benefit from the higher productivity their efforts generate. I hope they enjoy their well-earned compensation.

    Rick in Alex

    June 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  277. chase

    That these guys did a good job and they are being rewarded...and we should tell our kids to all be brokers b/c that industry would appear to be recession proof.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  278. Bob Schmidt

    I don't see anything wrong with the proposed bonuses. As long as it isn't tax payer money, why should anyone be upset that people are being conpensated for their hard work. Some people are just jealous that "they" aren't getting bonuses based on their performance or lack of performance.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm |

    Handle your business right, pay off taxpayers, get the government off your back, promote capitalism & take care of your shareholders. This makes me want to invest.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  280. BobS

    It means.....back to the old business as usual. Loot the coffers while there is something to loot! It may not be there later! (Ask anyone with a 401K!) To heck with investors!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  281. Chris Conway

    If the company earned the money, then it is theirs to distribute as they see fit. I however don't believe that strategically the paychecks or bonuses need to be as large as they are to attract and keep talent. For one thing, where are they going to go? I would rather see a larger portion of the profits returned to share holders, the owners of this great company.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  282. LeRoy Daniels


    This looks like the biggest crime of the century, by the use of systematic game-theory to "game the system" for the creative destruction and chaos of the worlds financial system. If you look closely at the players, the originators of the destructive tools used (cdos, swaps and derivatives, etc), and the key people that made it happen. All Goldman Sachs' people: Paulson, Geitner and a few other key people, now pretend ignorance, while they helped to create a monopoly for Goldman; while destroying all the competition for investment banking clients and business: Lemans Brothers, Morgan etc. I think Congress should re-exam Paulson's nofault, lawless waiver from the Bush Administration, to create this crisis and call for an all for nothing creative fix. Have all the remaining firms, now benefiting from this experiment, chip in to rebuild wall street, while offerings them limited tax incentives to repair the damage, and financial probation until Wall Street is restored to its former glory.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  283. nick

    If bonuses are given that are anywhere near the ones they used to give it will be time to do like the Iranians are doing and take to the streets.
    There is no human-scale rationale for it. How much can you eat? How much can you drink? How many homes do you need? The pleasure of a job will done used to be its own reward.
    How much can you take from the world's pot when most of the world is barely subsisting? If bonus money of that scope is available, the system still rigged to enrich a small group of ruthlessly greedy people.
    It will be time to march and Twitter and Youtube them into remorse and repentance.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  284. Ed NYC

    Ya Tony in Cape Cod who says,
    "how is it making record profits in these times?"
    The message is: the parasite class is alive and well and extremely well connected.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  285. DY

    The whole "bonus" issue is a red herring and taken way out of proportion. Banks don't pay employees for doing nothing. I know plenty of bankers and traders, and as much as they are rewarded for doing well, they are also quickly and unceremoniously laid off if they aren't bringing in profits. Of course, if the entire bank is losing money, then few if any employees should receive any variable bonus. But this is not a simple matter – if you have some extraordinary talent that is making money for a department at the bank, it may be necessary to give them an individual-performance bonus in order to keep them at the company.

    In addition many "bonuses" are not really a bonus, but rather a contract-promised amount that they would be paid. Those fixed "bonuses" are given to usually more experienced and established talent, and is a fixed amount taken in lieu of a variable bonus based on performance. If you take the fixed amount, you won't get more even if your performance reflect a bigger bonus. It simply guarantees payment.

    That being said, if GS is making record profits, then the employees responsible for the profits should be adequately rewarded. As long as they are not being paid with tax-payer dollars, it shouldn't matter how much it is as long as it's deserved.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  286. CHRIS


    It may be grotesque, but maybe the silver lining is that the economy and banking industry is not in that bad of shape at this point...this could spur confidence and actually help us all...maybe.

    I am for anyone making as much as a company is willing to pay them, but I am also for a progressive tax structure to help accommodate those that are less fortunate in our country.

    Good for you bankers; thanks for paying taxes and making big donations.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  287. MB in Sacratomato

    Some of you have said, "have we not learned from the past?"

    Have you? Don't allow other people to bring you to your knees. Pay for things that you buy with CASH. OWN things out right. Don't allow the economy, bosses, money to own you. That means living a simple life, below your means. You can always humble yourself or be humbled.
    Then, next time – when things fall down the drain again – you own your items, and you have a savings account. Rather than work 12 hour days to pay rent, you can opt to go part time to help your company to stay afloat by saving them some salary, and you can take time off and spend time with your family or learn an instrument. Exercise. Read a book.

    All and all – keep your life simple and don't worry about what others do.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  288. Frank in Birmingham AL

    Why is everybody freaking out about this when we pay gazillions to scumbag actors, rappers, and athletes who provide little more than entertainment to society? This is just another indication that we as a society are not paying attention to exactly where our dollars end up.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  289. dean alvarez

    Good job ripping off the american public, that is the message it sends.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  290. darlene

    That is fine and dandy as long as Goldman Sachs know that if it gets into trouble again there will be no BAILOUT!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  291. JohnB

    It would say that having treasury department connections in order to guarantee that you get paid for all the questionable credit default swaps that you bought from AIG before the goverment bailed it out with tax payer funs and it then imploded and left most everyone else up a creek without a paddle was very cleaver ... but hardly an indication of sound business practive warranting bonuses ... more like a hail mary pass.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  292. ari

    but ask how they made these record profits. they chopped up these sub prime and alt-a mortgages and resold them as AAA rated then turned around and placed bets with AIG against these same securities. then thru backchannels made sure that AIG stayed afloat so they could get their money(billion$) out. if AIG didn't get gov't help, Gsachs loses a lot of $$$. check out where the guy that's running AIG now used to work and the guy who put that guy there. interesting history.

    of course this is all speculation, right? the gov't would have done something to these guys if that were true, no?

    June 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  293. Gary Jaussaud

    Gary's Comment is:

    If Goldman Sacks has paid back the government all that it received in
    TARP money, I guess they can pay out any bonus money they wish.

    What does it say to the World, "Hey We are doing Well" you can too
    just stay with it, if in fact it is true they made the money the bonus money is coming from. Good Job Goldman Saks!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  294. Brian Smith PhD

    As much as it is painful to see the wealthy get richer, this country, (and its economy), is based on a open and free market. Specifically, that says companies and individuals have the right to earn whatever legitimate money they can. You wouldn't want CNN to pay you based on "appearances." You want to be paid what your labor is worth. Leave Goldman Sachs alone to conduct their business as they see fit.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm |