Goldmas Sachs is bending over backwards to make sure you don't rise up and hoist the black flag next month, when it pays out more than $17 billion in taxpayer-financed bonuses—now its top leaders won't get any cash.
Of course, that rule only applies to the 30 members of Goldman's management committee, composed of managers from all its business units. The rest of its 31,670 or so Goldmanites will be eligible for cash bonuses as well as stock. As for Goldmans' top 30 executives, their bonuses will be entirely in the form of restricted Goldman stock this year, which they won't be able to cash out for five years and can be rescinded if their business units fail down the road, the New York Times' Dealbook reports. And what's more, the company will begin putting its compensation practices up for a shareholder vote, meaning that if you're rich enough to buy some Goldman stock, someday soon you'll be able to go to a shareholder meeting and personally watch them vote to pay themselves billions of taxpayer dollars.
This year, at least, we will be spared the spectacle of bales of vacuum-packed cash being dumped via forklift on dozens of circular driveways in Connecticut. This effort to ward off populist outrage comes on top of Goldman's banning of Christmas parties, ramping up its charitable giving, rescuing homeless kittens, and arming itself in case all that fails. (Or not. Who knows? We're trying to lay hands on a list of all New York City handgun permit recipients to sort that one out.)
This would be a good time to remind you that we'd still like you to tell us how they're going to spend their bonuses, seeing as much of it is from your direct and indirect taxpayer subsidies. Here is how one tipster recently described his Goldman-executive pal's anticipation of this year's bonus:
For example he wants to buy a Mercedes Benz E550 Class 2010 in cash. Also in the last couple years with the exception of 2008, he has bought many things, from cars, boats, paintings, to stocks from Fortune 100 companies. This year he is very happy and supposedly he is going to have gifts to all.
We'd be happy, too. A fully loaded 2010 Mercedes Benz E550 retails for around $79,600, though we bet that a Goldman exec would be able to cut a great deal for himself. They tend to be good at that sort of thing. One of our Jalopnik colleagues points out that "if the guy was really a baller he'd be springing for the E63 AMG instead of the mid-level version. What does that say about Goldman Sachs compensation, eh?" We guess that's what Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein meant when he ordered everyone to "avoid making big-ticket, high-profile purchases" this year.
If you know of any similarly discreet purchases in the offing, do let us know, or post the information to #goldmanproject. We're especially interested in the Christmas and New Year's celebrations that Goldman Sachs employees aren't allowed to have: Send any invites, details, photos, and party reports our way (we'll redact the specifics, of course). We're paying for them, so we'd kind of like to know if they're any fun.