$8.25M Bonus Was Too Small: Ex-Goldman Trader

Deeb Salem told his mom to expect $13M

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 20, 2014 11:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – That sound you hear is the world's tiniest adding machine crunching out a sad song for Deeb Salem. The former Goldman Sachs trader is taking the firm to court, arguing that it didn't give him a big enough bonus in 2010, when it awarded him a mere $8.25 million instead of the $13 million he told his mom he expected to make, Bloomberg reports. Salem had gotten a $15 million bonus in 2009, which was more than Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein got.

Goldman told Salem he was getting a smaller bonus—despite making the firm more than $7 billion—because he'd shown "extremely poor judgment" in discussing a short squeeze in a self-evaluation. But Salem thinks he was worth more, and notes that one exec at a cocktail party told him he was a "steal" at $15 million. Arbitrators ruled against him after a Feb. 25 hearing, but he's arguing in a petition filed in New York State Supreme Court last week that the arbitration panel was biased—one member allegedly dubbed the case BS during the hearing.

In this Thursday, March 15, 2012, file photo, traders work at the Goldman Sachs posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
In this Thursday, March 15, 2012, file photo, traders work at the Goldman Sachs posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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