The sound coming from Wall Street today is more than just the sound of growling bears. It is also the noise of teeth grinding and grumbling about bonuses and next year’s salary at Goldman Sachs.
What insiders call “comp day” has finally arrived at Goldman. This is the day when employees hear about their bonuses, promotions and even demotions from chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and his top lieutenants. Goldman, whose fiscal year ends on November 30th, makes its decisions about these matters ahead of some of its rival institutions on Wall Street. Many other firms, follow a calendar year and set their bonuses in January or even as late as February.
With the company posting its first ever loss last quarter, Goldman employees are nervous about what many expect will be bleak news. The company has already begun laying off employees, and says it will eventually lay off as many as 3,200. Some observers both inside and outside the firm think another round layoffs could be in the offing if results don’t improve next quarter.
Goldman has set aside a multimillion-dollar bonus pool will still be shared by employees.The firm’s bonus pool stands at $6.56 billion or an average $218,193 per employee this year. Blankfein and six of his top deputies agreed to forgo their year-end bonuses this year, after the firm took $10 billion from the government’s financial bailout fund. But many of the firm’s top talent outside of management may still take home tens of millions of dollars.