Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bonus time.....

Record profits on Wall Street are being reported for producing a 20% increase in bonuses being paid. As widely reported Goldman Sachs profits were up 93% in the latest quarter. They have earned as much per share in 2006 as in the previous two years combined. It has been reported that the bank is planning on rewarding its employees with 16.5 billion (yes I said BILLION) dollars in compensation this year. That is an average of $632,000 per employee. Clearly the money will be distributed from top to bottom but that is certainly a lot of money. This type of story always gets me thinking. When is enough, enough? Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good payday like the next guy, and part of the reason traders get up early everyday is for the paycheck at the end of the month, but it would seem to me that there is more to all this then just money. And I think I am starting to get it. The magic word is POWER. At a certain point you have enough money. You have a nice house, car. The kid’s education fund is nicely funded. The ex-wife has stopped asking for more and the girlfriend is set up in a beautiful apartment that even she cannot find any fault with. And still you get up everyday and go to the office. Sure you like the guys in the office. The jokes, one liners, and sharp humor, but is there a time to hang it up even if you are young. I recently came across an ex college who was on his way overseas for “6 months”. I asked him about his family and he said they were staying behind. I thought that to be quite strange. Why leave your family for 6 months (I am actually bid 2years) when you have more money then you will ever need (he began the conversation by telling me that bonuses don’t mean anything anymore because all he does is put the money in the bank). I posed this question to him and his response was that he was getting really good exposure with the top executives in the organization. Now maybe I am a little jealous that he took his chance, and I never did (ok a lot jealous) but I am not sure I would leave my family for the exposure. To rise to the top of most organizations I think it is important to, for lack of a better term, put the hours in. But I think I will follow the advise of a friend of mine when I told him Lotto was 16mio dollars, he said “That’s 15 more then I need”. Interesting huh?



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