It’s about Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of the Wall Street giant, Goldman Sachs. Ready? He only took home $12 million in pay last year. To grasp the terrible sadness of this, you should know that Lord Lloyd hauled in more than $68 million in 2007, the year prior to Wall Street’s crash.
So, see, you’d be down, too, if your pay had been cut by 80 percent.
But don’t feel too badly for Blankfein and his Brothers of the Street, for – look! – a rainbow is beaming across their dark financial sky! And we know what’s at the end of that radiant arc, right? Yes, a pot of gold, and the happy news is that the annual pay of Wall Street bankers this year is back up to near-record levels. The base salary of all the minions of high-finance now averages nearly $400,000 – up 16 percent over the last two years. Hey, who says these are hard times?
Of course, up in the suites where bankers-in-chief like Blankfein reign, the base pay is much sweeter than average. Plus, base pay is the least of it, for at year’s end, it’s bonus time! This is when multiple millions of dollars are stuffed into the pockets of the Street’s elites, and this year is expected to produce a bonus-palooza. At last, then, it looks as though Blankfein will overcome the sadness and embarrassment of last year’s $12-million check.
And who could be more deserving of such a felicitous ending? After all, did he not labor diligently this year to eliminate 3,200 of Goldman’s lower-level employees as a way to save money in order to pay top dollar to Goldman’s top bankers (such as himself)? Yes, he did. Plus, he lobbied ferociously to kill reforms to reign-in banker greed. So he’ll now cash in.
Now, that’s really something to cry about.
National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.
This piece was first published on Jim Hightower’s website.