You know you have it made when a $550 million settlement with the SEC boosts your stock by $3 billion. Goldman Sachs’ penalty for selling a fancy investment it secretly bet against was about half what was expected, amounting to just 14 days of earnings. You might say they got away with it.
While the SEC touted the $550 million settlement as the largest it ever levied against a Wall Street firm, it fell short of some analysts’ estimates for a $1 billion fine. Hintz, who estimated the agreement will shave 93 cents from the firm’s earnings, said he had predicted it would cost $1.05 per share.
For Goldman Sachs, the cost represents approximately 14 days’ worth of earnings, based on first-quarter profit. [CEO Lloyd] Blankfein, who was awarded a record-setting $67.9 million bonus for 2007, has stock in the firm that’s worth almost $490 million, based on the firm’s last proxy statement.