Goldman Bonuses Irk Investors, Too

Shareholders question need for $20B in bonuses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2009 7:20 AM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2009 7:35 AM CST
Activists protest in front of the DC office of Goldman Sachs last week, demanding that its projected $23 billion in bonuses and compensation go to foreclosure prevention programs.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – With Goldman Sachs on course to hand out the highest bonuses in its history, it's not only furious populists who are complaining; investors, too, are getting into the act. Major shareholders, who have stayed out of the executive compensation controversy until now, are calling for the bank to cut back on its expected $20 billion in payouts and boost the earnings per share instead, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Goldman is making record amounts as the market rebounds, but the earnings per share will be down this year because it issued 100 million shares to raise capital. Shareholders are also miffed by a change in the company's financial statements, which adds temporary workers and consultants to its headcount, making it appear that the average compensation per Goldman employee—$717,000—is less than the true figure.