Goldman Bonus Stigma May Overshadow Charitable Effort

Bloomberg, by Christine Harper and Patrick Cole

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., on pace to top 2007’s record $20.12 billion in compensation, may find that acts of largess aren’t enough to mitigate a public backlash sparked by the firm’s bonuses.

After rebounding from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs is considering a new charitable program and has been working with Bridgespan Group, a Boston- based philanthropy consulting and recruiting firm, people familiar with the matter said. Goldman Sachs said today third- quarter net income more than doubled to $3.19 billion, beating analysts’ estimates. The firm also said it has set aside $16.7 billion for compensation so far this year, up 46 percent from the $11.4 billion figure for the same period in 2008.

Goldman Sachs’s public-relations quandary — the more money the firm generates, the more hostility it provokes — has fueled speculation among Wall Street bankers about a charitable gift of $1 billion or more, to be announced by the end of the year when the company awards bonuses. Only a small group of senior executives at the bank is privy to the details and no decision has been reached, people with knowledge of the matter said.

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Philanthropists Set Spending Deadlines

The Wall Street Journal
May 21, 2009
By Shelly Banjo

A growing number of philanthropists are adopting spending deadlines and sunset provisions to ensure urgent global needs are addressed in a timely way.

By granting the entirety of funds within a certain period of time, these charitable efforts are looking to have a bigger immediate impact than traditional foundations, which are typically set up to last forever and pay out roughly 5% of assets a year.

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