Most of us would not consider $600,000 to be good pay for a year's work. We'd consider it a bonanza!
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown

Most of us would not consider $600,000 to be good pay for a year’s work. We’d consider it a bonanza!

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But, then, we’re not a Wall Street greedhead. Lloyd Blankfein, however, is. As boss banker at Goldman Sachs, he was not happy to draw only 600K last year, so he recently got Goldman’s compliant board to more than triple his base salary this year to two million bucks.

Bear in mind that “base salary” on Wall Street is just for showing up, not the total pay they haul off at year’s end. Bonuses, stock options, and other bundles of money are thrown in to rocket executive pay into the greedosphere. Add up all the extras and Blankfein’s total take last year was not a peonish $600,000 – but $13.2 million. Plus a limousine, of course.

It’s useless, though, to try telling Lloyd that such pay is excessive, unseemly… greedy. He’s measuring what he got last year in terms of the haul he made in 2007, when he and his merry band of banksters were busy crashing our economy, costing millions of Americans their jobs, homes, and middle-class hopes. For his splendid work that year, Blankfein made off with more than $68 million in personal pay.

Still, grabbing a $13-million paycheck last year while – thanks in part to him – millions of people got no paycheck at all, puts the “Triple-I” in narcissistic. Blankfein’s flaming sense of self-worth is magnified by the fact that Goldman Sachs had a lousy 2010. Its stock value stagnated, profits plummeted by a third, and it had to pay half-a-billion dollars for defrauding its own customers.

All this failure on the watch of a guy who now feels entitled to a bigger paycheck. As a symbol of Wall Street’s mindless greedheadedness, Lloyd Blankfein bobblehead dolls should be distributed across America. Better yet, how about Blankfein voodoo dolls?

“Goldman Sachs boosts pay for CEO, 4 other executives,” Austin American Statesman,” January 29, 2011.

“Goldman Sachs Gives Blankfein a Big Raise,” http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/blankfein-gets-13-2-million-for-2010/, January 28, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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