Goldman Sachs CEO’s 2008 compensation drops 98.4 percent

Lloyd Blankfein

According to Goldman Sachs Group's stand-in statement, filed late Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the investment bank's CEO Lloyd Blankfein received $1.11 million in total compensation for 2008, marking a substantial 98.4 percent drop from the year-before compensation of $70.3 million!

The filing revealed that Blankfein was awarded a basic salary of $600,000, sans any new bonus or option awards; along with $277,828 for restricted stock units granted for the preceding years. In the name of 2008 perks and other benefits, Blankfein received $111,223 for personal use of company automobiles and $40,543 in medical and dental plan payments.

The value of the 2008 compensation was in accordance with the SEC accounting rules, whereby the fifth-largest US bank - facing huge writedowns and losses due to investments in toxic assets - neither handed-out any bonuses nor granted any stock to its top managers.

Going by the figures, while Goldman's top executives received over $20 million each in 2007 bonuses, there were no bonuses for 2008 for the top five executives - CEO Blankfein; Presidents Gary Cohn and Jon Winkelried; Chief Financial Officer David Viniar and Vice Chairman J. Michael Evans.

In fact, the potential executive compensation limits are part of the `strings attached' to Goldman's $10 billion capital infusion from the US government, under the Troubled Asset Relief Program!

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