Billy Big Bonus

Goldman Sachs announced its fourth quarter profits Tuesday - and earned more money in any one year than any investment bank EVER.

Fourth-quarter profits came in up 93% to $3.15bn, making full year net income $9.54bn. Firm CEO Lloyd Blankfein said with some understatement that 'we are very pleased with this year's performance'.

And the firm has set aside a bumper $16.4bn this year for bonuses and other comp costs (including salaries) - slightly less than the $17.6bn to be shared out in bonuses by ALL bankers who work in London's financial district (including Canary Wharf). Goldman employees, on average, will receive $621,906 each for their efforts in 2006. Around 25 bankers, however, are expected to pick up bonuses of at least $25m (that starts to take the average for the rest down a bit!).

As The Times reports, it's not likely to be a case of the 'haves' and 'have nots' on the bonus front at Goldman this year - rather it will be the 'haves' and the 'have yachts'!.

Finally, The Financial Times has reported that Goldman's 22 London-based partners have been asked to play Santa and dig deep (well not that deep) and 'donate' up to $11,700 each for this year's staff Christmas party. Nice - champers all round, then.

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