Truth to Power

23 billion in bonuses, 14 million in taxes. How the rich get ric

Goldman Sachs 2009 bonuses to double 2008’s; $23 billion could send 460,000 to Harvard, buy insurance for 1.7 million families

On Thursday, Goldman Sachs will announce the firm’s bonus payments for 2009. Analysts expect the bonus pool to mushroom to $23 billion – double the bonus pool paid to employees in 2008. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs said that it had put aside $11.4 billion for bonuses during the first half of the year.

But while Goldman is likely to pay its biggest bonuses ever to employees, the firm pays very little in taxes worldwide. In 2008, the company was said to have paid just $14 million in taxes worldwide, and paid $6 billion in 2007.

The firm’s corporate tax rate? About 1 percent. According a prominent tax lawyer, “They have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.”

Sorkin says Goldman’s CEO is trying to hold off criticism by making a big charitable donation.

“Now there’s talk inside Goldman that it is considering making a huge charitable donation – perhaps more than $1 billion – as a way to help deflect the criticism,” Sorkin says. “Such a donation would be a welcome gesture that would no doubt benefit many needy organizations. But it would most likely be seen for what it is: a one-time move to draw attention away from where most of the money is really going. A large charitable donation also raises questions about the company’s fiduciary duty to its shareholders; it could be seen as giving away profits that ostensibly belong to them.”</em>

Oh we go, “bonusing” away our country so the robber barons can stuff a bit more into the mattress. A company that would be out of business like the corner hardware store if we the people hadn’t bailed their greedy ass out. Hope and change my butt.


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