Bloodbath at the Goldman Sachs Circus Maximus8:27 pm - 01/20/2012
Goldman Sachs Employees On Bonus Day: 'It's A Bloodbath'
Reports are creeping out that yesterday's bonus day wasn't all fun and games at America's most iconic investment bank.
Goldman's profits fell in 2011, in the final quarter alone by as much as 58 percent from the same period a year earlier. As a result, the investment bank set aside 21 percent less for compensation and benefits, according to Bloomberg News. And at least some Goldman employees had something to say.
"It's a bloodbath," a midlevel Goldman Sachs employee said in an interview with CNBC. "One girl was actually crying, I think," another Goldman employee said according to the report.
Some first-year Goldman analysts received $40,000 bonuses, and some second-year analysts received bonuses between $40,000 and $56,000, according to Dealbreaker. Business Insider notes that these bonuses can amount to half of these junior bankers' base salaries.
In fact, some Goldman Sachs bankers and traders learned that they were taking home no bonuses at all, the Wall Street Journal reports. And on top of that, the firm halved the total pay of some partners -- the company's highest-level employees -- while some traders got hit even harder.
It's not Goldman alone that's shrinking bonuses. Earlier this week Morgan Stanley, another major investment bank, limited bonuses for both junior and senior employees by capping cash bonuses at $125,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. Credit Suisse is also likely to no longer give junior bankers automatic pay jumps, according to Bloomberg News.
But Goldman employees worrying about bonuses haven't gotten the shortest end of the stick. The company slashed 2,400 jobs last year while setting aside an average of $367,057 in compensation per employee, 15 percent less than an average of $430,700 per employee in 2010, according to Bloomberg News.
Goldman Sachs is far from the only bank shedding staffers. Wall Street banks have already cut more than 200,000 employees.
Relative to the larger economy, of course, Goldman Sachs still pays a substantial portion of its revenue to employees, to the frustration of some shareholders, bank analyst Mike Mayo said in an interview with the NYT.
"In the tug of war between employees and shareholders, the employees are winning," Mayo said.