Goldman Sachs was solidly behind Barack Obama. Indeed, Goldman Sachs has long had the reputation as the investment bank with the most Democratic supporters on Wall Street.
But the vote earlier this week to impose a 90 per cent tax on bonuses at TARP-supported firms has many at Goldman feeling betrayed, fearful and angry. On Thursday and Friday, the trading floor at Goldman echoed with brokers and traders cursing the lawmakers who passed the bill and seeking reassurance from their fellow employees that their bonuses wouldn’t be clawed-back. At least one Goldman trader called his lawyer to see what legal protections might be available
(So, lads and lasses, here’s your reassurance. If this bill becomes law, last year’s bonuses won’t fall under the 90% tax. It only applies to bonuses paid after Dec. 31. So you’ll have till the end of the year to figure out some way around this thing. We’re sure you can do it. Now back to the story.)
“Fuck Obama,” one person said aloud on the floor, giving voice to the feeling of political betrayal.
Word spread quickly that because the bonus tax only applies to TARP recipients, foreign banks wouldn’t be covered. At least a few people at Goldman Sachs have already called recruiters. And recruiters have stepped up efforts to poach Goldman employees offering jobs safe from the TARP bonus tax.
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