Goldman Reports Average Employee Comp Of $430,700 As FICC Revenue Collapses

Tyler Durden's picture

Goldman reported Q4 numbers today and they were ugly. While earnings were in line with expectations (bank EPS has become completely irrelevant as the FASB now affords banks with a practically infinite array of options to game the bottom line), the revenues were more difficult to fudge. And now that the firm finally spreads its revenues in the new method which breaks out Prop (and FICC from Equities as part of client flow), we can see just why prop trading is so critical to the firm. The traditional golden goose for the firm: Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities trading on a flow basis was abysmal, plunging from $2,687 million to $1,636 million sequentially, and from $3,129 million in Q4 2009. As the chart below shows, this number peaked at $6,017 million in Q1 2010. Combined, total revenues by all segments came at a five quarter low with FICC posting the lowest contribution since 2009. Yet the one segment which did post an increase was Prop Trading, also known as Investing and Lending, which increased from $1,797 million to $1,988 million. And as we noted previously, the margins in this group are by far the highest, averaging just under 50%, confirming why as Bloomberg noted earlier, attempts to reintegrate prop into Wall Street trading are ramping up big now that Volcker is gone.

The increasing role of prop trading to Goldman's hedge fund operations is seen even better in the chart showing revenue segment as a % of total. It has increased to just under a quarter: the highest number from when we have first disclosed prop trading in Q4 2009:

But the number everyone is waiting for is comp, which was $2,253 million in Q4 (unlike the negative number posted in Q4 2009 when the outcry against banker bonuses was apparently louder). This was a 26.1% comp margin, and brought the year total to $15,376 or a 39.3% margin on total revenues of $39,161. Based on "total staff at period end" of 35,700 this comes to precisely $430,700 per employee. Surely this is admirable compensation for a Fed-backstopped hedge fund job well done.

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plocequ1's picture

Earnings? wasnt that a tool once used in the 80s to see how a company was doing financially? I dont think they use that tool anymore. Rally on....Bens POMO dudes are on it.

Hephasteus's picture

Ya that was before the great renassance back when accounting wasn't a creative mashup of impressionist art, pornography and ice sculpting.

goldmiddelfinger's picture

Watching 2 trolls grovel. disgusting.

johnnymustardseed's picture

Despicable!!!! Poor people gonna rise up and take whats theirs

USD-25's picture

In another brain twister, investment banking revenue looks pretty healthy.

Hephasteus's picture

Just don't look too close. Or they'll gouge your eyes out.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Too funny. To be on the in-side of a rigged game and make this kind of money.

I wonder how much a Janitor, who delivers more useful service than god's own money army makes at GS? Give Her Mint Sucks!



john milton's picture

U.S. banking regulators approved a rule on Tuesday on how creditors will be treated under the government's new authority to seize and liquidate large, failing financial firms.


are they preparing for something..


hey ty...I got interesting job offer for u...

Bank of Finland announces vacancy for post of Governor

Oh regional Indian's picture

Link to the changed regulations stroy please?



CapitalObserver's picture

Famed technician Tom Demark has turned bearish

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Goldman employees are the cream of the crop and cheap at any compensation number. After all, they are doing God's work. And God's workers don't come cheap.


<sad commentary about ZH that I even need the sarcasm tag>

Sutton's picture

Goldman destroys AIG, first through buying CDS' from AIG FP, then by shorting their stock into oblivion, as they tknew of AIG's near death state.

Now they get the nod to bring AIG  back.

Mind boggling.  On we go.

centerline's picture

I'm all for free markets - but this is not a free market... that is what makes those salaries despicable.  The whole corporate CEO bullshit over the last 20 years has not been much different though.  GS just elevates it to a whole new level.

What really would worry me is if something breaks at some point, and the slow grind into a much lower standard of living suddenly becomes a freefall resulting in civil unrest - Wall Street better be prepared to run for the hills.  I don't think I have ever seen a recipe for a pitchfork mob in the US ever before like this.

Wynn's picture

maybe five guys with pitchforks .. and another hundred recording it with their i-phones

wisefool's picture

I think they will be safer in their own 'hoods. Why would the barista at a Manhattan starbucks be upset at the people that gave them $200+/day in tips for pouring coffee? Or the tradesman who gets paid $40/hr to drywall law office remods? Or the city worker who makes $100k/year to drive a trash truck around?

Some of the elite are able to sneak out to the countryside, buy some land with their ill gotten gains, so the farmers daughter can go to private university at $45k/yr.

If the SHTF it is going to be articles of confederation time. Not class warfare. City dwellers of all walks of life are going to guild up hording medical services and port access. They will maintain the existing currency system even if super-inflated. Country/Flyover people are going to band together and withhold energy and food. They will reject the existing currency and get barter systems going.  And they will reclaim the lands of absentee landlords. The big question, as always, is which side existing law enforcement and the military folks choose. The elite are going to tell them that the inflation was created to protect their pensions, and the only way to keep them is to enforce the status quo. But I hope when they are sent out to confiscate food and energy they look the "subjects" in the eye before they pull any triggers.

topcallingtroll's picture

I found an obscure referenceonce that in the mini crash of 1907 in nyc that the army had to be called out to stop the hanging of bankers because the police couldnt control it. If true i am not surprised we dont find this little inspiration in the standard history texts. It might give the little people ideas.

wisefool's picture

I personally don't see it happening that way this time. in 1907 people went into debt to live in roach infested, ramshackle firetraps, with only sex,booze and books for entertainment. Much like the riots happening in the developing world.  I think this time people will chose to sit in their 1.2 Million dollar condos and watch the border disputes on the 60" flat screens, instead of going after the bankster who gave them all that stuff, and especially if the banksters institute wholesale loan forgiveness for city dwellers as a sedative/riot control.

George Costanza's picture

Seven straight weeks of boring melt up in equity markets, they need volatility !!!!     They can engineer a crash, make money on the way down, then buy back shares as investors sell at the bottom.   It will be so easy for them, and so rigged

Stuck on Zero's picture

What is the "value added" by Goldman to merit these returns?

Bitch Tits's picture

Until lawyers become public servants, there will be no end to this.

The Man with the Gold Rules, even if his Gold comes from his theft of yours. This is true in every facet of life, and most importantly, when it comes to the laws.

The man with less Gold will never find justice, because justice must be bought in these golden beholden courts of law in the United States of The Men with the Gold.

topcallingtroll's picture

St. Vincent had a plan to solve this, but alas was thwarted by the.demon dwarf GG and his 46 princes of evil. Light a candle for St. vincent tonight or at least get drunk in his honor.

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

Even with the market structured just for them, Fed throwing them money, and the US Gov throwing them money, they still have miserable revenue?

Smartest guys in the room? Hah!

Throw that kind of money to a bunch of monkeys and we would see a better outcome (monkeys might be sloppy, but they never paint themselves into a corner).

topcallingtroll's picture

We are 15 million more unemployed away from some fun times. I call dibs on goldman.

profoundlogic's picture

Truth in advertising, as posted on sites such as ZH, may prove to be a useful tool in pushing the GS earnings figure even lower (zero would be ideal).  Interesting that the vampire squid decided to pull the Facebook deal from U.S. investors due to media attention.  More people are catching on to the Wall Street Ponzi scheme.  If enough people are getting the message out, it will at least make it more difficult for the crooks to deploy their next bomb.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Lloyd Blankfein, Lord of the Giant Squid, sold 93 million in Goldman stock lately.

Who ever said that crime doesn't pay?

theprofromdover's picture

Did I just hear a rumor that the Squid was going to change its name back to J. Aron & Co?

Goldman Sachs as a name is now just too associated with 'shitty deals'

Makes sense, spotty leopard.