With populist rage still simmering over the global financial crisis, TARP bailout, and ridiculous executive pay, investment bank Goldman Sachs says many of its top executives will not be receiving cash bonuses this year. Instead, the NY Times reports, "the 30 executives will be paid in the form of long-term stock — an arrangement that means they will not get big year-end paydays, but one that could turn out to be enormously lucrative if Goldman’s share price rises over time."
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs announced it was setting aside $16.7 billion in bonus money to employees—causing anger from the public and seemingly fear from its own employees. An analyst told Bloomberg News the stock move is being "done to address the populist movement that has put so much pressure on the financials over the last year. As a shareholder, I view this very favorably. This better aligns our interests with theirs as a management team.”
The Times adds, "The move is meant to address concerns that bankers and traders in the past benefited from short-term performance. The shift at Goldman locks up the executives’ rewards for five years and enables Goldman to claw back the bonuses in the event the bank’s business sours." The Wall Street Journal's Deals Journal translates the press release line by line—for instance, "Management Committee To Receive No Cash Bonus for 2009" really means "Our stock is up 96% year-to-date, and the 30 of us on the management committee have made plenty over the years. Still, we’d be insane to take big cash numbers in this year of Goldman hatred."