Goldman Sachs execs won’t be getting bonuses

By Madlen Read

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein and six other top executives at the bank will not be receiving cash or stock bonuses for 2008, a spokesman said Sunday.

The decision was made by the seven executives themselves, said spokesman Lucas Van Praag, and approved Sunday by the Wall Street firm’s compensation committee. The executives made the decision "because they think it’s the right thing to do," Van Praag said.

The seven executives include Blankfein; Presidents and Co-Chief Operating Officers Jon Winkelried and Gary Cohn; Vice Chairmen John Weinberg, J. Michael Evans and Michael Sherwood; and Chief Financial Officer David Viniar.


They will receive no cash bonuses, no stock, and no options for 2008 — just their salaries, the spokesman said. Companies typically release compensation figures for top executives in the spring as part of their annual proxy statements.

Last year, Blankfein received total compensation of $54.0 million, according to calculations by The Associated Press — making him the 6th highest paid CEO at a Standard & Poor’s 500 company in 2007. His salary that year was $600,000.

Goldman Sachs, like other financial institutions, has been struggling this year with the soaring mortgage defaults and the seize-up of the credit markets.

Goldman and Morgan Stanley were the only major U.S. investment banks left standing after the buyout of Bear Stearns Cos. by JPMorgan Chase & Co., the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co.’s sale to Bank of America Corp.

Shortly after Lehman’s collapse, Goldman and Morgan Stanley became bank holding companies — a move that subjects them to more oversight from the Federal Reserve, but that also gives them permanent and wider access to the central bank’s lending programs.

Goldman’s shares closed Friday at $66.73, down $3.26, and are down 69 percent since the start of the year. The firm is in the midst of cutting about 3,200 employees, or about 10 percent, of its staff worldwide.

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