It's been a bad few months for Goldman Sachs. Lately we have had news of Goldman Sachs' star bankers leaving the company. Then we had former Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith publishing a scathing open letter in the New York Times. The "executive director and head of equity derivatives sales" lashed out at senior leadership for creating what he claimed was a "toxic" and "destructive" culture that put the interests of the investment bank ahead of those of its clients – who he said were routinely referred to in emails as "muppets" to be "ripped off".
On top of that, we have had reports of Goldman Sachs losing more money than any of the other investment banks.
So what does Goldman Sachs go and do? According to Bloomberg, it's given its CEO Lloyd Blankfein a big pay rise. Blankfein has received total compensation of $16.1 million in 2011. That's up 14 per cent from the year before. His latest pay deal is a far cry from his record-setting $67.9m package in 2007. Still, it's a huge improvement on his compensation package for 2008, when Blankfein and six other senior officers were awarded no bonuses. And this time around, you can ask what the hell did he do to deserve that.
So it's been a hard time for Goldman Sachs. But all in all, it wasn't such a bad year for Blankfein.