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20 Mar, 2020 23:22

At least someone’s doing well: Goldman Sachs gives CEO 20% raise as it forecasts crash for America

At least someone’s doing well: Goldman Sachs gives CEO 20% raise as it forecasts crash for America

Even as the US stock market continued its free-fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, the top banker at Goldman Sachs got a pay raise of $2 million a year, a $7.65 million cash bonus, plus stock options worth $17.85 million.

David Solomon “led our development of the firm’s three-year business plan and a clear long-term strategy that leverages our foundational advantages, enhances the firm’s long-term mindset and instills a culture of innovation,” Goldman said in a federal filing disclosing the compensation.

His compensation package is the biggest for a Goldman Sachs CEO since Lloyd Blankfein took home $41 million in 2007, right before the mortgage collapse. It was was reported on Friday, after the US stock markets closed on yet another abysmal week, amid the economic downturn brought on by the fear of Covid-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed on Friday at 19,173.98 – down 913.21 points, or 4.55 percent. The S&P 500 was down 4.34 percent, and the NASDAQ had dropped 3.79 percent. All three indices have collapsed since their peak in mid-February – the NASDAQ losing almost 30 percent, the S&P down 32 percent, and the Dow tumbling 35.1 percent from its February 12 peak – wiping out all the gains since the beginning of the Trump presidency.

Also on rt.com Worst week since 2008: US stocks hit hard as Covid-19 keeps hammering world of finance

Millions of US companies have shuttered, some permanently, as New York and California went into lockdowns and all mass gatherings across the US were canceled, with no end in sight.

News of Solomon’s big payday was not particularly well received by Americans quarantined across the nation. Reactions ranged from anger – that this was just “asking for riots” – to snark about hoarding wealth the way some panicked shoppers hoarded toilet paper.

Just hours before Goldman Sachs gave Solomon a massive raise, its economists forecast an unprecedented decline in US GDP based on the coronavirus shutdown – down 24 percent in the second quarter, amounting to an annual drop of 3.8 percent, with unemployment surging to nine percent overall. Meanwhile, Congress is being pressured for a massive corporate bailout that would dwarf 2008 in size and scope.

No wonder some people reached for the guillotine memes right away.

Goldman Sachs stock has suffered from the collapse as well, it should be noted, dropping from $237.33 on February 19 to $138.41 as of Friday.

Cities and states across the US have banned gatherings larger than 10 people or even ordered residents off the streets entirely over the past week, seeking to slow down the community spread of the novel coronavirus that was first recorded in China in December. As of Friday evening, the US has registered 18.876 cases, of which 237 have been fatal.

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