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Goldman Sachs bows to public pressure

Wall Street banking giant Goldman Sachs has today bowed to public pressure and announced a reduction in the forecast $16.2 billion bonus pot for 2009. While the 32,500 staff employed by the company will still share a bonus pot of $13.3 billion, with an average annual income of just under $500,000 for each employee, the pot has been reduced from the initial forecast of $16.2 billion. It seems as though political and public pressure on the banking giant has at last paid dividends.

While the near $500,000 average annual income per employee for 2009 is a sharp drop from the $661,000 payout in 2007, it is still seen by many as an excessive reward for bankers. At a time when the US government appears more determined than ever to rein in the spending of banks with the introduction of a banking levy, it seems that the US banking industry and the US government are still on a collision course.

As in the UK, more and more US taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet while the banking industry appears set to rejoin the gravy train with enormous bonuses now becoming commonplace. Whether the authorities will be able to rein in further bonus issues in the short to medium term remains to be seen but this is not the last we have heard of this particular subject.

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