BUSINESS

Goldman Sachs Receives Fine That Will Take It 24 Minutes To Pay Off

12/07/2012 03:04 pm ET

Who says the government is going easy on Wall Street? Goldman Sachs just got slapped with such a huge fine that the firm might have to miss an entire episode of Spongebob Squarepants making it up.

That's how much time it will take Goldman to make up its latest regulatory penalty: About 24 minutes, or one Spongebob, if you fast-forward through the commercials.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought the hammer down on Goldman Sachs on Friday for failing to keep a close eye on a trader who, back in 2007, used fake trades to hide an $8 billion trading position from regulators. Goldman fired the trader, but it also sort of took its sweet time notifying government regulators about the trader's shenanigans, according to the CFTC.

The trader ultimately cost Goldman $118 million in losses, but that wasn't enough to satisfy the merciless CFTC, which slammed Goldman with a fine of $1.5 million. Say it Dr. Evil style and it sounds even worse.

Now, $1.5 million buys a lot of calamari. Such a fine would bankrupt the vast majority of the human beings on earth, and more than a few companies.

But Goldman Sachs generated $8.35 billion in revenue in the third quarter of this year alone, or a little more than $63,000 per minute. At that rate, Goldman will be able to pay off its $1.5 million fine in just under 24 minutes.

In contrast, it would take Goldman nearly 516 minutes, or a little more than eight and a half hours, to pay for the cost of CEO Lloyd Blankfein's new house in the Hamptons, for which he reportedly paid $32.5 million.

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