Bonus Backlash

Goldman Shareholders Want More Cash

Goldman Sachs may have bounced back from the recession, but shareholders now want a bigger piece of the pie. While Goldman Sachs is gearing up for its largest-ever employee payout, shareholders have been pushing for the firm to cut back on bonuses, instead spreading the wealth to its investors as a reward for the huge improvement. Part of the problem is a lower per-share value, the result of 100 million extra shares issued over the past year in response to the financial crisis, during which the company received $10 billion in government bailout money. Not everyone thinks smaller bonuses are such a good plan, though: "Goldman has a pay-for-performance culture, and if Goldman violates that pact with employees they run the risk of talented people leaving, which wouldn't necessarily be good for shareholders," said an analyst at Barclays Capital. Bonuses and payout for 2009 are set to be announced in January.