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Morning Coffee: Goldman Execs Still Cashing In

Don’t cry for all the Goldman Sachs partners who were phased out this year. Recent regulatory filings show that nearly three dozen executives exercised stock options valued at almost $22 million in the three days following the reporting of the firm’s third quarter results.

The options, which date back to the firm’s initial public offering in 1999, were set to expire at the end of November, forcing top execs like Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and departing Chief Financial Officer David Viniar to cash in at a less than ideal time. The stock closed at $126.25 on Tuesday, down nearly 90% from its 2007 peak, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The checks still feature plenty of zeros, though. Blankfein will take home $3.1 million while Viniar, set to step aside in January, collects $2.3 million. The big winner is Goldman vice chairman Michael Sherwood, who received $5.2 million for exercising his options.

Those who joined the firm more recently don’t share the same luck. Stock options issued from 2005 to 2008 are essentially worthless, for now, as they were granted at values above the current share price.

Fiscal Cliff Concerns (eFinancialCareers)

Overall confidence among U.S. finance and accounting employees dipped for the second consecutive quarter as workers battle through a general sense of uncertainty over the economy, the presidential election and, most importantly, the resolution to the impending fiscal cliff.

ING Cuts (Reuters)

ING will cut in excess of 2,300 jobs in its insurance and banking units following a stark decline in third quarter profit.

Brand New Plan (Bloomberg)

With the election behind him, President Obama will offer a “brand-new plan of his own” to make the fiscal cliff more of a fiscal slope, says Steve Bell, senior director of the Economic Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Expect Bush-era tax cuts to expire.

Sale Looming (Reuters)

Morgan Stanley is reportedly considering selling its underperforming Indian private-wealth-management unit just four years following its launch.

We’re Green with Envy (eFinancialCareers)

eFC has ranked the top 10 best financial services offices to work in. Are you one of the lucky ones?

Oldie but a Goodie (eFinancialCareers)

With all the cost-cutting on Wall Street, some firms are looking to replace their high-priced talent with younger, cheaper versions. If you feel you’re next, it’s time to get proactive.

Getting There (WSJ)

The trustee representing victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has recovered or reached deals to recover $9.2 billion of the $17.3 billion in principal that investors lost.

Insider Trading (Bloomberg)

Jury selection has begun in the trials of Level Global co-founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback portfolio manager Todd Newman, two hedge fund managers charged with insider trading. Both men have pleaded not guilty despite several guilty pleas from their alleged co-conspirators.

Buzz Around the Office

A Kardashian Moment (MSN)

Perhaps Lamar Odom has been with the Kardashian family too long. In a TV spot to promote his new team, the Los Angeles Clippers, Khloe K’s husband forgets which L.A. team he plays for.

List of the Day: Work Etiquette

Want to stay on the good side of your work-from-home colleagues. Don’t utter these comments.

  1. Enjoy your day off!
  2. Must be nice to work in your pajamas.
  3. What exactly do you do all day?

(Source: AOL Jobs)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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