Hear: The Goldman Sachs Interview
On today's Planet Money:
Goldman Sachs carries a certain mystique on Wall Street. The firm is known for hiring the brainiest people and paying them well. A number of its former executive have gone into politics, including former CEO Henry Paulson, who became President Bush's Treasury secretary, and former CEO Robert Rubin, an adviser to Presidents Clinton and Obama.
This week, Goldman finished paying back its $10 billion federal TARP loan — with taxpayers pocketing a return of 23 percent. The firm also just released a fantastic report on its earnings, with net revenues of $23 billion for the first half of 2009. Goldman is setting aside almost half of that money for paying its 30,000 employees. In rough terms, that amounts to almost $400,000 for each worker.
Lucas Van Praag, a Goldman spokesperson, answers questions about other ways Goldman received government help and why it's rewarding the staff so richly after getting a hand from Uncle Sam.
Plus: The stunning results from our Economic Radio Story Showdown.
Bonus: After the jump, a reader looks at the showdown results and wonders what the heck just happened.
Download the podcast; or subscribe. Intro music: Mark Morrison's "Return of the Mack." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.
And the winner of our first-ever Economic Radio Showdown is....Adam Davidson! See?
But seeing isn't always believing. Adam trailed almost from the day we launched the contest, right up until Thursday.
Not quite six hours before the polls closed, Richard Chang wrote:
Late surge by Adam is so suspicious. Looks like people are stuffing the ballot boxes. How many times are people voting, anyway? So unfair. I only voted 3 times.
Chana was clearly in the lead before Adam went on ATC to plead his case. How is that fair? What about equal time?
I think they have to tally the votes separately for loyal podcast listeners vs the riff-raff who listen to the radio.