A former Goldman Sachs trader is suing the company because he feels he was not appropriately compensated for his work there. Well actually, it's not that Deed Amin Salem thinks he wasn't compensated, it's that he feels he deserved a bigger bonus. It's not even that really, it's just that he promised his mother that he would get a $13 million bonus and then he got an $8.25 million bonus, and now we get the sense that his mother probably mentions it every time she lunches with her lady friends at the yacht club, and that's so embarrassing, as we all know.
"Let’s be very clear: I was one of the most sought-after investment professionals in the mortgage industry," the 35-year-old Salem argued during a Feb. 25th arbitration hearing, according to Bloomberg. "I had the opportunity throughout the course of my career and throughout—from that day, from almost every month that I was at Goldman, to leave for other opportunities."
Salem claims he earned more than $7 billion for the company before he left in 2012. He earned a $15 million bonus in 2009 (more than Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein), and claims he was told his 2010 bonus would come out to $13 million; in January 2011, he related this information to his mother. According to a transcript of the arbitration proceeding obtained by the Post, Salem argued that he deserved the entire $13 million bonus "in part because he told his mother that he expected the prodigious payout."
The firm claims they docked him $5 million because of a written warning he received about his 2007 self-evaluation; Salem was given the warning for "extremely poor judgment" in discussing a "short squeeze," which later bit him in the butt.
In 2011, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said Salem and other Goldman Sachs traders tried to manipulate prices of derivatives linked to subprime home loans in 2007 for their own benefit. The subcommittee’s assertions were based in part on Salem’s self-evaluation, in which he wrote “we began to encourage the squeeze with plans of getting very short again after the short squeeze caused capitulation of these shorts.”
"He made a ton of money," Andrew Frackman, the lawyer representing Goldman, said at the hearing. He noted that the company's policy states that all bonuses are discretionary and Salem understood that when he signed the firm's employment offer. "He's not entitled to more simply because he would like to have been paid more. If that were the case, you’d have traders and bankers in here every day of the week."
It's a strange day when we find ourselves agreeing with Goldman Sachs, but it's also strange when we wake up every morning and don't find ourselves rolling around in a water bed stuffed with $5 million, so here we are.