Goldman CEO May Get $100 Million Bonus

The CEO of Goldman Sachs could get a bumper bonus of up to $100 million for 2009, London newspaper The Times reported Monday, quoting bankers in Davos, Switzerland.

Lloyd Blankfein and other top Goldman Sachs bankers were set to receive the biggest ever bonuses awarded at the world’s richest investment bank, according to the bankers.

In response, a Goldman Sachs spokesman told CNBC: “Although our Board of Directors has yet to determine executive compensation, everything the firm has said and done on the subject calls into question the Times’ story.”

Politicians are grappling with a return to big bonuses despite public outrage at risk taking that led to the world financial crisis.

US President Barack Obama said last week that bonuses paid out by some banks were “shameful.”

“This is Lloyd thumbing his nose at Obama,” a banker at one of Goldman’s rivals told The Times.

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In 2007, Blankfein was paid $67.9 million, his biggest bonus ever. But last year, the bank’s profit was $1.8 billion higher than in 2007.

In the fourth quarter Goldman earned $4.95 billion, or $8.20 a share, handily beating market forecasts.

Goldman Sachs set aside 36 percent of revenue for compensation for 2009, its lowest percentage ever, totaling $16.19 billion

On average, Goldman employees made $498,000 in 2009, up from $317,000 in 2008 but down from $661,490 in 2007.

Blankfein took home his biggest bonus so far in 2007, when he was paid $67.9 million and Goldman’s profit last year was $1.8 billion higher than in 2007. This leaves the bank with a justification to pay him even more, The Times wrote.

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