Goldman Sachs continues to get an inaccurate read on public opinion. What they don't seem to understand is that people who are now in their second year of unemployment won't forget that the same people who caused this mess are making exorbitant sums as a reward for having done so.
And standing in line at a food pantry to which Goldman Sachs has donated the food only rubs salt in that wound:
As it prepares to pay out big bonuses to employees, Goldman Sachs is considering expanding a program that would require executives and top managers to give a certain percentage of their earnings to charity.
The move would be the latest in a series of initiatives by Goldman to soften criticism over the size of its bonuses, which are expected to be among the largest on Wall Street, bringing average pay to about $595,000 for each employee — with far higher amounts for top performers.
Goldman set aside $16.7 billion for compensation in the first nine months of 2009, and in good years, the firm dedicates about three-quarters of its compensation budget to year-end bonuses. The firm is expected to report later this month what could be record profit of about $12 billion for 2009, according to analysts’ estimates, compared with $11.7 billion in 2007. Its final compensation pool and executive bonuses will be announced then.
The firm said last month that its 30 most senior executives would be paid bonuses all in stock, but the bank placed no limit on how large those bonuses might be.
While the details of the latest charity initiative are still under discussion, the firm’s executives have been looking at expanding their current charitable requirements for months and trying to understand whether such gestures would damp public anger over pay, according to a person familiar with the matter who did not want to be identified because of the delicacy of the pay issue.