Goldman CEO's $100 Million Bonus: Fact or Fiction?
Specifically, Goldman paid Blankfein $67.9 million in 2007, when Goldman made a profit of $11.6 billion. Goldman's 2009 profits were $13.4 billion -- $1.8 billion, or 16%, more than it made in 2007. So if his compensation was just based on how much money Goldman made, a case could be made that for 2009, Blankfein ought to get a $78.4 million bonus, 16% more than he made in 2007.
But I am guessing that such a $78.4 million bonus -- or this rumored $100 million bonus -- would stir up popular anger tremendously. Attempting to pay a bonus that large would be a defiant stand by Goldman, one which would boldly dare President Obama to do something to stop it. After all, nothing tells the public who rules America -- Wall Street or the White House -- like a standoff over CEO compensation.
I think this rumor is fake. But if it's not, there will be a few people feeling more than a bit of personal discomfort when the numbers on Blankfein's bonus check are announced to the public.