Top Goldman Sachs executives forego their bonuses

November 17th, 2008 - 2:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 17 (IANS) Seven top executives of Goldman Sachs, a top Wall Street investment banking firm, have decided to forego their bonuses, running into millions of dollars, media reports said Monday.The development could be a trend-setter among other top US executives on Wall Street, who in the midst of a deep financial crisis, are being accused of taking away hefty perks and bonuses several times their base salaries, while their company is going down the drain.

Goldman Sachs is one among the US investment banks that were badly hit by the financial crisis. Last month, it sought a $10-billion emergency fund from the US government. It has also announced to cut about 3,300 jobs.

The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Monday that among the top Goldman executives who have decided to give up their bonuses is chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, who last year took home a record $68.5 million in cash and stock. Instead, the Goldman Sachs executives would now be eligible for their base salaries of just $600,000.

A decision in this regard was taken by the company board at its meeting Sunday. The meeting was convened to discuss such a proposal moved by its top executives, who felt that foregoing their bonuses was the “right thing to do” under the current economic crisis.

“While the firm has distinguished itself through many aspects of the crisis, we cannot ignore the fact that we are part of an industry that is directly associated with the ongoing economic distress,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman was quoted as saying by the Journal.

The article has added that the move of Goldman Sachs is expected to set the tone for the rest of Wall Street, where bonuses are typically many times bigger than base salaries.

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