The Verdict - The Lombardi Law Firm Blog
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On August 19, 2007 I wrote this piece on the InjuryBoard. It was good then and after the Wall Street Mortgage Mess Meltdown it's even better. When President Bush was leaving office he was attempting to redefine what his Administration stood for. He wants history to see him as having had the public's safety in mind. I will never remember him or his Administrations for anything close to having the public safety in mind. No, not safety. Greed yes, but not safety. Here is what I wrote.
Goldman Sachs Redefines Greed - Trial Judges and Juries Need to Take Note
The Bush Administration has repeatedly accused trial lawyers of being greedy, but Mark McGoldrick and Goldman Sachs have redefined greed. While trial lawyers' toil to prove damages in a court of law, persuade a Judge there is support in the law and then persuade citizens of the case's merits to win a verdict it seems disingenuous that they would ever be called greedy. Greed is defined as excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Mark McGoldrick and Goldman this past Saturday in a story titled "Why $70 Million Wasn't Enough."
Mark McGoldrick earned about $70 million in pay last year -- nearly $200,000 a day -- placing bets using Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s money. He was one of Goldman's highest-paid employees.
So where is Dubbya on this one?
Mr. McGoldrick and some of the partners in his unit griped that they weren't being rewarded as well as counterparts at hedge funds and private-equity firms. Though highly paid, his team was "under-compensated," Mr. McGoldrick complained to Goldman colleagues. He groused about being shut out of investments because of potential conflicts inside Goldman. Then he quit.
As 2006 drew to a close, Mr. McGoldrick argued that his group should receive a substantial boost in compensation. By his calculations, the special-situations unit should get $400 million -- representing 2% of its assets -- and $800 million -- or 20% of the unit's profits -- for a total of $1.2 billion.
Then the bonuses were distributed in early January. Goldman didn't come close to Mr. McGoldrick's figure of $1.2 billion in bonuses for his group. Instead, Goldman's senior management awarded the group about $500 million, says a person familiar with the situation. A Goldman spokesman wouldn't comment on employee compensation.
Mr. McGoldrick and several of his top deputies were outraged. Because he led such a profitable unit, Mr. McGoldrick was one of the highest-paid executives at the firm, with about $70 million. Mr. Blankfein, Goldman's CEO, received a pay package totaling more than $53 million.
If attorneys are truly greedy they sure have a funny way of showing it. The salary for an attorney in the U.S. varies greatly, but the average is about $60,000-$150,000. I wonder how lawyers compare with those running Wall Street? The same CEO's who allowed backdating and the accounting fraud that took millions from shareholders and put it in the pockets of their cronies.
Speaking of greed, why hasn't the Bush Administration filled the Commissioner slot on the Consumer Products Safety Commission? How many children will be poisoned by lead based paint on toys before he acts? Where is Laura Bush on what she thinks of her husband's stalling on filling the CPSC post while children are being poisoned for profit? Are these the family values for which this administration stands? Where is the free press on this issue?
As the President and Karl Rove exit the White House without acting on the CPSC post will the country ask them about "cutting and running"? Have we seen the United States Treasury raided enough yet? As a Republican I too, like the Dixie Chicks am ashamed of this President and his administration's record. The Dixie Chicks were right and Natalie Maines should never apologize for saying what she thought. Bravo to Emily Robison and Martie Maguire for sticking by her side even though it cost them millions of dollars.
Wasn't this Administration tied to Schlumberger? With the continuing increase in energy prices, the demand for products from companies such as Schlumberger Ltd. has also increased. Schlumberger is the world's largest oil services company and has recently reported that its second-quarter profit rose 47%. This is the same company supplying the war effort backed by the Bush Administration.
Net profit for the Houston-based company rose to $1.26 billion, or $1.02 cents per diluted share, from $857 million, or 69 cents, a year earlier.
And how are the CEO's on Greedy Street doing financially?
Richard D. Fairbank - Chairman, president and CEO, Capital One: $37.4 million
Timothy M. Donahue - Former chairman, Sprint Nextel: $36.2 million
Gary D. Forsee - Chairman, president and CEO, Sprint Nextel: $21.3 million
H. Lawrence Culp Jr. - President and CEO, Danaher: $19.6 million
Robert J. Stevens - Chairman, president and CEO, Lockheed Martin: $18.6 million
Len J. Lauer - Former chief operating officer, Sprint Nextel: $16.7 million
Thomas J. Fitzpatrick - Former CEO, Sallie Mae: $16.6 million
Richard F. Syron - Chairman and CEO, Freddie mac: $14.7 million
Nicholas D. Chabraja - Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics: $14.5 million
Christopher J. Nassetta - CEO, Host Hotels & Resorts: $13.1 million
Dale B. Wolf - CEO, Coventry Health Care: $12.9 million
J.W. Marriott Jr. - Chairman and CEO, Marriott International: $12.6 million
J. Herbert Boydstun - Executive vice president, banking, Capital One: $11.7 million
John G. Finneran Jr. - general counsel and corporate secretary, Capital One: $9.5 million
Thomas P. McDonough - president, Coventry Health Care: $9.4 million
David R. Lawson - president, auto finance, Capital One: $8.4 million
Dave Schaeffer - CEO, Cogent Communications: $8.3 million
Douglas H. McCorkindale - Retired chairman, Gannett: $8.3 million
Dwight C. Schar - Chairman, NVR: $8.3 million
Craig A. Dubow - Chairman, president and CEO, Gannett: $8.2 million
It may seem like nothing now, but just wait until the baby boomer retirees start taking out their retirement savings. Then we will realize what those millions meant and it will make a real difference to us as opposed to just an accounting difference.
Top Paid Executives (Most Cash):
Robert J. Stevens - Chairman, president and CEO, Lockheed Martin: $8,765,154
William L. Walton - Chairman and CEO, Allied Capital: $7,200,000
Timothy M. Donahue - Former chairman, Sprint Nextel: $6,030,000
John D. Shulman - Managing director, Allied Capital: $5,561,250
Paul Hanrahan - President and CEO, AES: $4,947,467
H. Lawrence Culp Jr. - President and CEO, Danaher: $4,625,000
Nicholas D. Chabraja - Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics: $4,500,000
Daniel H. Mudd - President and CEO, Fannie Mae: $4,450,000
Thomas P. McDonough - President, Coventry Health Care: $4,382,047
Joan M. Sweeney - Chief operating officer, Allied Capital: $4,000,000
And how do attorneys' compare with the profit margins of major insurers?
$2,977 State Farm
$1,626 Liberty Mutual Group
If lawyers are truly greedy then it can be only for justice. If we are truly greedy then it is a greed for the truth to know what went wrong and why so it is less likely to happen again. Greed for lawyers is about asking for compensation to pay for medical expense for widows and children. Am I greedy in that sense? Yes I am. Call me greedy for justice, but call me.