Oct 3, 2011
In what is certainly a clear sign of the apocalypse, at least for Wall Streeters, there is now speculation that the holiest of holys, none other than Golman Sachs, may be planning to no bonuses this year following a third quarter which now everyone expects will be the worst for the company in recent history (which is to be expected with the firm’s prop trading operation several crippled, although still marginally operational in various other guises). According to The Australian: “Goldman Sachs is planning to slash bonuses to almost zero amid growing expectations that the Wall Street bank is about to slide into the red for only the second time in its history. The market meltdown that began in August has hammered the revenues of all the big global investment banks. Analysts have been slashing their forecasts for Goldman’s third-quarter results, due on October 18, with most now expecting it to report a loss.” And don’t tell Morgan Stanley this but… “ Morgan Stanley, its closest rival, could also fall into the red.” This means no mas dinero at Times Square-o either. Yet this is nothing compared to the media reaction when mainstream journalism figures out just how many partners and MDs at both Goldman and MS are underwater on loans they have taken out from the company itself in exchange for unvested stock struck at prices anywhere between 50 and 100% higher. Oops.
Goldman’s senior executives are determined to prove that the bank can continue to generate bigger returns for shareholders, despite the market turmoil.
They have made an internal commitment to ensure that no more than 35 per cent to 45 per cent of its revenue is paid to staff — a lower proportion than any other Wall Street bank. The ratio of staff pay to turnover is the key metric used by analysts to determine the efficiency of an investment bank.
Cutting bonuses to the bone is one of the few tools that Goldman can use to keep the ratio under control. It has already cut salaries for its London partners and is also cutting thousands of jobs.However, its third-quarter revenues are expected to have fallen by about half compared with the second quarter, putting the ratio under pressure.
Big salaries were offered to tempt bankers to join firms such as Nomura and Barclays Capital, meaning they are now lumbered with higher fixed costs.
And if you thought #ccupyWallStreet was bad, wait until Wall Street’s chief (i.e. always wrong) economists hit Detroit in #OccupyMainStreet: the natural response from Wall Street which will be clueless how to live without a 7 figure bonuses for being perpetually wrong on what America’s GDP will be this or even last year.
This article was posted: Monday, October 3, 2011 at 8:10 am