Goldman's fourth quarter results, which were announced today, revealed another shocking bonus payout the bankers. Despite the fact that net revenues fell by 13 percent, Goldman staff picked up a cool $15.3 billion. Thus it would appear that bank bonus payouts be little relationship to performance.
However, there was one interesting footnote in Goldman's statement:
UK bank payroll tax
During the second quarter of 2010, United Kingdom enacted legislation to impose a non-deductible 50% tax on certain financial institutions in respect of discretionary bonuses in excess of £25,000 awarded under arrangements made between December 9, 2009 and April 5, 2010 to "relevance banking employees." The estimated amount accrued in the second quarter of 2010 related to this tax was finalised during the fourth quarter at $465 million.
Can't you just feel the Goldman's pain oozing out of that short statement. Our old friend and former Chancellor Alistair Darling managed to take $465 million from the enemy. This was a victory for the people. If only Mr. Osbourne was brave enough to levy the tax this year.
Well done, Alistair - this was mighty work.