Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the firm that set a record for Wall Street pay last year, became the first U.S. bank to scrap 2008 bonuses for senior officers in the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, 54, and six deputies told the New York-based bank's compensation committee yesterday that they would forgo the year-end awards, according to Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag. Each of the executives receives a salary of $600,000; Blankfein's bonus last year was almost $70 million.
``They believe it's the right thing to do,'' van Praag said in a telephone interview. ``We can't ignore the fact that we are part of an industry that's directly associated with the ongoing economic distress.''
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