It would be one thing if people were saving the money that's not being spent. but they're not; they simply don't have it, nor can they borrow it. If the US GDP is $14 trillion (though I'm sure that is too high a number by now), a 10% drop in 70% of its make-up would take about $1 trillion out of the picture. That's some serious money, even if we're getting used to big numbers, it's over $3000 for every man, woman and child, or $12.000 that a typical family spends less. For the smile of the day, we turn to Goldman Sachs. Earlier, the firm announced a $5 billion new fund to buy up distressed assets at 1930's style basement prices.
Today its CFO ups the ante a tad: Goldman has a $168 billion chest with which it plans to purchase the strategic places on the continent. Oh, but that's not the part that made me smile. This is: as long as Goldman has not repaid the $10 billion TARP funds, they are not allowed to pay off Warren Buffett's $5 billion loan, and they have to pay the old geezer $1.3 million in interest every single day. Somehow that little fact also made me wonder about Goldman's claims that they never really needed any money. If that were true, why did they ever make that deal, on those terms (10% interest), with Buffett?
Goldman Sachs: Profits Up. Salaries Also Up. Take That, Treasury!
Goldman Sachs’s Wall Street rivals were mad at Lloyd Blankfein’s disdain of their bonuses last week — so they must be absolutely livid today. Goldman’s results this quarter seem to include several challenge to lawmakers in a sign that the firm is intent on managing its bonuses and its trading risk without an eye on Congressional approval. Goldman Sachs posted a $1.7 billion profit today — and with it, Goldman set aside $4.7 billion for salaries and bonuses. That $4.7 billion is 50% of Goldman’s revenues for the quarter, a jump up from the same time last year, when salary and bonuses accounted for 48% of Goldman’s revenues. In essence, things are still ugly in the market — but even so, Goldman actually said it would reserve more money for staff salaries in the first quarter than it did last year. Goldman doesn’t actually have to pay those dollars until the fourth quarter, but the expenses estimate how much Goldman expects to pay.
Goldman Pushes Stock Issue in Plan to Escape U.S. Grip
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., frustrated at federally mandated pay caps, has been plotting for months to get out from under the government's thumb. On Monday, Goldman took fresh steps to break free: It announced, as expected, that it plans to raise $5 billion by selling new common shares to investors, and that it would like to use the money to repay government bailout money received last year. The firm also reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings of $1.81 billion. Goldman managers have a big incentive to escape the state's clutches. Last year, 953 Goldman employees -- nearly one in 30 -- were paid in excess of $1 million apiece, according to people familiar with the matter. But tight federal restrictions connected to the financial-sector bailout have severely crimped the Wall Street firm's ability to offer such lavish pay this year.
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