Saturday, 22 December 2007

Bonuses at the International Herald Tribune

Commenting on actual news articles in the International Herald Tribune is not the purpose of this blog - plenty of other bloggers do that.

But some are worthy of a special mention:

Last Wednesday's business section reported that total bonuses at Goldman Sachs for 2007 jumped 23 percent to a record $12.1 billion.

$12.1 billion!

Thursday's front page reported that CEO of Morgan Stanley, who had announced a first quarterly loss of $3.59 billion, had announced that he wasn't going to take a bonus for 2007, in fact he was going to specifically ask the compensation committee that he would not accept one.

That's very big of him don't you think?

I wonder how the bonus regime is going at the IHT. Before American publisher Peter Goldmark came on board, high level compensation packages for senior execs were unheard of, but he introduced compensation packages allowing some senior execs, at least on the commercial side, to earn up to at least 75% of their annual salary (at least in my case, perhaps more for others).

One poor woman in finance lost her job for disclosing the enormous bonuses paid out to people like me by 'accidentally' leaving the information displayed on her computer screen. This at a time when Goldmark was cutting people and costs at every possible turn. The news on one senior exec's huge bonus did not go down well among the foot-soldiers in Neuilly.

Goldmark liked to use the sort of language that the folk over at ABN AMRO are fond of, as reported in last Thursday's IHT: "We have identified a number of overlaps and capabilities that no longer fit our strategic focus." Short hand for: we're going to fire a lot of you and we decided to let you know five days before Christmas.

Gotta love these folk.

No comments: