President Obama is stepping up his war on "obscene" Wall Street bonuses — and the investment bankers at Goldman Sachs may be firing back. According to The Times of London, Goldman is preparing to give CEO Lloyd Blankfein a record $100 million bonus, topping his 2007 bonus of $67.9 million. Goldman calls the Times report "speculative nonsense," but the Wall Street firm earned $1.8 billion more last year than in 2007, and Blankfein took no bonus for 2008. Is Blankfein, as a rival banker tells The Times, planning to cash a giant check as a way of "thumbing his nose at Obama"? (Watch a Fox report about Lloyd Blankfein's rumored bonus)
Not just at Obama: Blankfein and Goldman Sachs are thumbing their nose at all Americans, says John Vandenter at the SEIU blog. Remember, taxpayers "funded Goldman Sachs' bailout when the bank was on the ropes" last year — and now, as most of us are "struggling to make ends meet," our dollars are effectively being used to pay Blankfein's obscene bonus. Truly "unbelievable."
"Lloyd Blankfein thumbs his nose at us"
If he is, it's foolish: I certainly "wouldn’t be surprised to find that Blankfein was a little annoyed at Obama," says Michael Corkery in The Wall Street Journal. Obama's continued his "fight" against Wall Street even with the lowered bonuses and increased charitable donations. But at a time when its lobbying machine is trying to prevent tighter regulation, "alienating the White House could have real consequences for Goldman."
"A $100 million bonus for Goldman's Blankfein… Really?"
The $100 million figure is probably exaggerated: "It frankly boggles the imagination that he’s going to get anywhere near" that much, says Felix Salmon at Reuters. Aside from the political/regulatory suicide angle, "Goldman's rivals" — the purported sources for the figure — "couldn't possibly know what Blankfein's bonus is going to be." Sure, Lucky Lloyd will take home a fat check — eight figures — but it will be less than his $68 million from 2007.
"Blankfein's eight-figure bonus"