the greatest depression

Hey, Everybody: Being a Banker Is Awesome Again

Bankers at Goldman Sachs are expected to earn “the biggest bonus payouts in the firm’s 140-year history” this year, if the second half of the year performs as well as the “spectacular” first half. According to the Guardian, “a lack of competition and a surge in revenues from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed-income products has sent profits at Goldman Sachs soaring.” The British paper reports that Warren Buffett, who bought $5 billion in Goldman shares earlier this year, has already made a billion in profit on the investment. In fact, despite because of the global economic collapse that they helped create, the bank is facing its most profitable year ever.

But you know what is especially heartwarming? You don’t have to work at Goldman Sachs, or even a profitable bank, to see your salary hiked this year. The Financial Times reports that UBS and Citigroup and (still existing!) Merrill Lynch are bumping their base salaries for bankers, even though their bottom lines are dropping out underneath them. The fear is that the banks will lose key talent to better-thriving opponents — and since bonuses are being closely monitored in the United States, increasing base salary is the safest way to stay competitive.

This, obviously, is great news for everybody. Now our banker friends can go back to buying us $7 Cavit Pinot Grigios at T.G.I. Friday’s. It just felt so wrong the other way around.

Bankers’ pay soars in attempt to halt exodus [FT]
Goldman to make record bonus payout [Guardian UK]

Hey, Everybody: Being a Banker Is Awesome Again