Goldman Sachs Bonus Day Is a ‘Bloodbath,’ But Not Literally

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It's all relative, of course. This year's "Compensation Communication Day," better known as Bonus Day, is coming to a close at Goldman Sachs, and while a complete picture is not public, and may not ever really be known, no one is really gloating either. The New York Times reports that the company set aside $12.2 billion last year for compensation and benefits. But on a personal level, albeit a skewed one, John Carney of CNBC hears that things were "really ugly" today. According to one employee from the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities division, "It's a bloodbath. People are trying to put on a strong face but there are a lot of clenched jaws."

DealBook called the occasion traditionally "tense," as employees "are called one by one into a managing partner's glass-walled office, where they are informed of their bonus numbers, as well as any stock awards or deferred cash payments they will get." Afterward, "employees return to their desks, where some celebrate, others sulk and still others trade gossip via the firm’s internal instant-messaging system."

Luckily for us, a few also reach out to reporters. A trader told Carney, "One girl was actually crying, I think." Another said, "My number was so low I thought I was fired. My director had to convince me that the firm still wants me to stick around." Someone more optimistic said they thought it would be worse.

A source told Dealbreaker that base salaries are not being reduced and said, "I'm personally down 20% which was exactly the right level to piss me off but not enough to make me dive across the desk and beat my boss to death." Now that'd be a story a blog could run with.