Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

Blankfein criticizes excessive bonuses

Stephen Beard Sep 10, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Blankfein criticizes excessive bonuses

Stephen Beard Sep 10, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The head of Goldman Sachs is causing a buzz this morning. At a banking conference in Frankfurt, Lloyd Blankfein attacked what he called excessive bonuses. He said the public has reason to be angry about bankers’ pay. From the Europe Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Blankfein startled his audience, saying that the furore over bank bonuses was both understandable and appropriate. He called for guaranteed bonuses to be banned, and he condemned what he called “outsized compensation” when a bank is losing money.

Andrew Hilton runs the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation. He says this is all a bit rich coming from the head of Goldman Sachs:

Andrew Hilton: Blankfein took out $176 million in pay and compensation over the last five years. I suppose that he could forego his bonus for at least a couple of years and still manage to support the house in the Hamptons and the yacht in the Bahamas.

In his speech, Blankfein also admitted that banks had lost control of the exotic products they were selling before the crisis. Observers say he was striking a note of contrition before his Frankfurt audience. German banks have lost heavily on asset-backed securities.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.