Schadenfreude Time: Bonus Day at Goldman Sachs is Not Going Well

Via Getty.

AH, BONUS DAY. It’s that magical time of year when the world’s most widely-reviled financial institutions dole out the real money, not this ridiculous salary nonsense the rest of us peons get. That day, for Goldman Sachs, is today. And it is Not. Going. Well.

John Carney at CNBC’s NetNet notes that, from what he hears, many at Goldman Sachs aren’t exactly happy with what they’re getting. It’s “”really ugly,” apparently. For example:

One girl was actually crying, I think,” a trader at Goldman said in a text message.


My number was so low I thought I was fired. My director had to convince me that the firm still wants me to stick around,” said one person at Goldman.

Well, 99%: Are you happy now?! Look what you did! Someone is crying. Or they’re just suppressing a huge grin:

“You don’t want to walk out of your comp meeting with too big of a smile. People will think you took money out of their pockets,” one midlevel Goldman employee said.

Briefly: Consider how waitstaff at restaurants often make minimum wage ostensibly because the meat of their salary comes in tips. This is how many an investment bank salary goes, except instead of making a bonus daily, they get theirs once a year, near the beginning of the new tax cycle (thus giving them a full year to come up with and catalog as many tax write-offs as they possibly can).

Investment banks didn’t have the best year. Over at Dealbook, where they describe the bonus day process, they note Morgan Stanley, for example, taking the “drastic step” of capping their bonuses at $125,000 this year. As they explain, it wasn’t always this grim: In 2006, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein raked in $68M for his Bonus Day takeaway. And yet, even on a bad day, some note that—hold on to your hathos—it’s really not that bad.

“The worst fears haven’t materialized. People are not receiving donuts. Base salaries aren’t being cut. A lot of us thought it would be worse,” said one person at the firm.

Like being burned at the stake by the quite-upset masses? Nope. Think they’re just talking about not getting a solid bonus.

UPDATE: Bess Levin at Dealbreaker is hearing numbers. “First years: 40k annualized (base: 70k) Second years: 40-56k (base: 80k, 10k bump in August).”

Yup. Still making more than most of you their first year on the job. | @weareyourfek

Schadenfreude Time: Bonus Day at Goldman Sachs is Not Going Well