Did the Fiscal Cliff Prompt This Goldman Sachs Decision?

Following Congress’s passage of the fiscal cliff deal, which will increase tax rates on capital gains and on individuals who make taxable income of $400,000 or more, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) expedited the delivery of $65 million in stock awards to 10 executives.

According to filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on December 31, Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein received 66,065 shares of restricted stock, worth $8.43 million at the closing share price that day, as did Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer Gary D. Cohn, and the company’s chief financial officer David A. Viniar.

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Vice Chairmen John S. Weinberg, J. Michael Evans, human capital management head Edith Cooper, the firm’s chief of staff John F.W. Rogers, General Counsel Gregory K. Palm, Global Head of Compliance Alan M. Cohen, and Chief Accounting Officer Sarah Smith received stock awards of differing amounts. However, each executive surrendered 45 percent to 50 percent of their awards in order to pay taxes.

Goldman Sachs usually delivers executives’ stock wards during January, but firm spokesman Michael DuVally declined to give a reason for the accelerated delivery, according to Bloomberg.

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