Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goldman Sachs 2009 bonuses to double 2008’s


On Thursday, Goldman Sachs will announce the firm's bonus payments for 2009. Analysts expect the bonus pool to mushroom to $23 billion -- double the bonus pool paid to employees in 2008. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs said that it had put aside $11.4 billion for bonuses during the first half of the year.


How much is $23,000,000,000?

For one thing, it's enough to send 460,000 full paying students to Harvard University for one year, or 115,000 for four years.
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It's enough to pay the health insurance premium for the average American family ($13,375) 1.7 million times.

It's enough to upgrade 191 million computers to Windows 7 operating system (priced at $119.99), or to buy 115 million iPhones at $199.99 (provided the recipient was willing to sign a two-year contract).

Or, apparently, it's enough to reward the employees of Goldman Sachs for a bonanza trading year, at a firm where average employee compensation was recently $622,000 -- and likely to be greater this year.

The $23 billion figure could leave some American taxpayers woozy -- the US government bailed out Goldman Sachs with a multi-billion payment last year, which the firm has since repaid.

But while Goldman is likely to pay its biggest bonuses ever to employees, the firm pays very little in taxes worldwide. In 2008, the company was said to have paid just $14 million in taxes worldwide, and paid $6 billion in 2007.

The firm's corporate tax rate? About 1 percent. According a prominent tax lawyer, "They have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions."


Yes, that seems fair doesn't it?

I can't wait to hear the news that congress has botched health care reform later today...

Of course, I'd love to be proven wrong. I'd love to hear of some great success for social justice for the other 99% of the country. You know, the ones that do actually pay taxes worth a damn.