Goldman awards Blankfein before the tax deadline.
The tax hypocrisy in this story should become legend.
Al Gore was not the only one who tried to avoid the higher tax rates that took effect in 2013.
Unlike Gore, however, Goldman Sachs succeeded in evading the tax hike by awarding $65 million to its top executives one month ahead of time.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
As 2012 wound down, Goldman Sachs awarded 10 of its top executives a combined 508,104 shares one month earlier than normal and ahead of higher tax rates that kick in this year.
At Monday's $127.56 closing price, the shares were valued at $64.8 million.
The grants are related to restricted shares awarded as part of prior years' compensation, according to a series of filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday. They are not related to 2012 compensation, the filings said. About 48%, or 245,838 of the shares granted overall, were withheld by Goldman to pay taxes, the filings show.
Such awards are typically paid in January, when Goldman also pays out bonuses for the prior year. The early awards weren't limited to the top of the company, either. "The December delivery of shares went to a wider group of employees than the named executive officers," a spokesman said, though he declined to elaborate.
In December, Mr. Blankfein received 66,065 shares, 33,245 of which were withheld, netting him an award valued at more than $4 million.
Mr. Blankfein wrote in a November op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal that tax increases are a necessary part of U.S. fiscal reform. "I believe that tax increases, especially for the wealthiest, are appropriate, but only if they are joined by serious cuts in discretionary spending and entitlements."
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