Will Goldman Sachs' decision to hold five top executives' year-end compensation to $9 million in "shares at risk" usher in an industry-wide effort to rein in compensation not only for CEOs and other senior leaders, but for the bulk of professionals who receive most of their yearly compensation in a variable lump after year-end?
The answer may rest on whether the move stems the bleeding in the bank's reputation in America's heartland beyond the caverns of Wall Street.
The question arises from news late Friday that CEO Lloyd Blankfein, President Gary Cohn, CFO David Viniar and Vice Chairmen Michael Evans and John Weinberg each received $9 million as their 2009 bonus.
A headline in The Wall Street Journal's DealJournal blog labels Blankfein's smaller-than-expected payout "PR Genius."
However, it's far from certain that Goldman's latest move will succeed in appeasing critics from Washington to Main Street (and even a few on Wall Street). It might end up doing the opposite - emboldening the many individuals who won't be satisfied until most bankers are paid on a scale similar to civil servants.
Blankfein's $9 Million Bonus Is PR Genius[WSJ]
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