While the 'deplorable' half of America was greatly relieved when Donald Trump pulled off his establishment-upsetting victory, there is another group of Americans that may be even more pleased. Goldman Sachs' top executives had over 1 million stock option grants due to expire worthless next week, but thanks to an unprecedented spike in the stock since the election, Bloomberg reports Lloyd Blankfein and friends have cashed out, selling hundreds of millions in stock in the last week.
As Bloomberg details, just last week, it looked like more than 1 million stock options granted toGoldman Sachs Group Inc.’s top executives and directors would expire out of the money.
The awards, granted with strike prices of $199.84 at the end of 2006, a solid year for bank stocks, were set to expire on Thanksgiving eve. But on Nov. 7, the night before Americans voted, they closed at $181.48, meaning it wouldn’t make sense for executives to exercise them.
Then Trump pulled off an upset victory and Goldman Sachs surged 16 percent through Thursday, allowing executives to exercise the options and sell shares to lock in gains. The stock closed at $209.63 on Thursday and traded for as much as $212.07 this week, the highest since July 2015.
Phew... that was lucky!!
So while the mainstream media proclaims the surge in bank stocks as heralding a new dawn in everything-is-awesome-ness for America, we note that insiders at Goldman Sachs sold $205 million of stock since Nov. 8, company filings show.
That’s three times more than the group has sold in any month for at least five years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Not a bad week for Cohn, Blankfein, and Viniar...
For a sense of how 'odd' this massive surge in Goldman stock is, we note that the credit markets were entirely unimpressed...
So what happens at the end of next week, when these options mature and the magical bid holding Goldman stock above $199.84 disappears? (see credit chart above...)