So Goldman Sachs is in the news again. According to a recent article in the New York Times the firm and its employees are enjoying one of the richest periods in the bank's 140-year history. Imagine that? Just a few months after paying back billions of taxpayer
dollars given to them as a part of a rescue package, Goldman Sachs has announced that they are set to pay annual bonuses that will equal the record payouts that it made in 2007 before the whole financial crisis that financial community helped engineer, erupted.
The news is that the firm is going to pay each of its 31,700 employees close to $700,000 this year. Some top performers are expecting multimillion-dollar payouts.
I re-read the article, twice, just to make sure that I was not dreaming. No, I wasn't.
What really struck me was the fact that Goldman executives are at a loss to understand the resentment directed at their firm and argue this criticism is unjustified.
What really puzzles me is that in this immediate post financial crisis period when the whole financial industry is still mired in despondency and gloom, where turning an honest buck is becoming increasingly more difficult, Goldman Sachs can be turning such
profits. How much of these profits are really genuine or is this just another part of a mysterious new "financial innovation" that got the world into this mess in the first place?
And the Regulators? Well, as governments and academics debate how to sort the regulation problem out the Regulators seem to be asleep at the wheel, as usual.
Whatever way one looks at it I have a very distinct "Alice in Wonderland" feeling here.