A(nother) Case Of Wall Street Greed Gone Too Far - CNN
A case of Wall Street greed gone too far By Susan Antilla, Special to CNN
updated 12:38 PM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
(CNN) -- Nobody likes to pay taxes, so can you blame the good folks at Goldman Sachs & Co. for doing what they could to avoid the higher rates that kicked in on January 1?
While the rest of us were donning our party clothes on New Year's Eve, the legal worker bees at Goldman were pushing the send button on 10 regulatory filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. By the time the ball dropped in Times Square, regulators had been notified that $65 million in Goldman stock had been granted a month early, helping a cluster of powerful multimillionaire executives trim their tax tab.
Among the 10 who shared that $65 million, Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn and Chief Financial Officer David Viniar wound up with $8.4 million apiece in Goldman stock.
Blankfein's compensation in 2011 was $16.2 million. Cohn and Viniar that year made $15.8 million. Even Gordon Gekko would be impressed to see that bosses making that much money were able to catch a tax break for a couple hundred thousand.
The 10 executives who skirted 2013's higher rates were not the only Goldmanites who benefited from the "accelerated" vesting. Michael DuVally, a Goldman spokesman, acknowledged there was "a group larger than" the 10 but declined to say how many. DuVally would not comment on who made the decision to grant the shares early.