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Foreign Exchange

Goldman names new partners as it faces pay scrutiny

Among the 94 new partners announced by Goldman Sachs are Lora Price in New York and Kevin Connors in London, who both have something to do with FX. I got in touch with Goldman and asked: “Can you also let me know what they actually do for their money?” Turns out that Connors is co-head of FX sales, EMEA and Price is head of corporate sales, North America.

It appears I am not alone in asking questions about just how well-paid Goldman employees are. This week, Henry Waxman, chairman of the US House of Representative’s committee on oversight and government reform sent a letter to the heads of nine US banks, including Goldman, making some telling observations and asking some pertinent questions. (see http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=2265)

Waxman claims that the nine have spent or reserved $108 billion in employee compensation for the first nine months of 2008. Not surprisingly, there is some unease about the possibility of taxpayers effectively rewarding the banks’ failures by rewarding their staff so handsomely. “While I understand the need to pay the salaries of employees, I question the appropriateness of depleting the capital that taxpayers just injected into the banks through the payment of billions of dollars in bonuses, especially after one of the financial industry’s worst years on record,” writes Waxman.

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