Bank Execs Start Packing Heat


What are bankers asking Santa for this holiday season? Just some sweet bonuses and a fully-loaded Glock.

Several bankers at Goldman Sachs (Stock Quote: GS) have registered for firearms recently, according to police reports. No, they aren’t planning to rob the banks that employ them (as far as we know). Rather, they are prepping for the next wave of public outrage expected to come when their bonuses are announced.

One Goldman employee told Bloomberg that they had just filed for a gun permit, and several other bankers are believed to have taken similar steps, according to police. “The New York Police Department has told me that ‘as a preliminary matter’ it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names,” Bloomberg’s Alice Schroeder reports.

All of this might sound ridiculous until you consider the previous public threats against bank executives. Earlier this year, the chief executive of AIG (Stock Quote: AIG)and many members of his staff received multiple death threats after they received hefty bonuses. Meanwhile, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase (Stock Quote: JPM)received at least 45 typewritten letters with similar threats back at the end of 2008 when the banking crisis first started to heat up.

Yet, Goldman seemed to escape the public’s rage for a while. Unlike AIG and Citigroup, Goldman did not accept any government money. Recently, however, several news stories have claimed Goldman accepted other “back door” deals to keep the bank thriving. Goldman is also believed to have participated in dubious lending practices. The result is that the bank is getting bashed in the media these days, and the looming bonuses certainly won’t help.

So this might be a good time to ask, are the bonuses really worth all of this drama? As it turns out, the answer is probably yes. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (Stock Quote: MS) alone plan to spend $35 billion on employee bonuses this year. That’s enough money to hire Clint Eastwood as your personal armed guard.


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