Why is Goldman delaying its bonus announcements?

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In any normal year, Goldman Sachs would divulge the size of bonuses a few days before announcing its Q4 results. This year, Q4 results are due to be announced on Thursday, but bonuses, which were supposed to be revealed starting yesterday, won't now be unveiled until next week.

The Guardian uncovered the news of the mysterious delay yesterday, saying Goldman people could be forced to sweat it out until the 28th.

Goldman isn't commenting, but we understand the story to be broadly correct.

So why is Goldman forcing its children to wait so long before opening their presents?

The Guardian thinks it's got something to do with the bonus tax. It attributes the delay to, "internal wrangling," over how to tackle the tax. However, the wait could equally be attributed to a cold sweat over the likely media furore once bonuses have been announced, and last minute attempts to mitigate that (eg. By following in the footsteps of JPMorgan and Credit Suisse and making employees share the cost of The Tax).

Alternatively, the Financial News reported yesterday (without referring specifically to Goldman) that salespeople and traders are arguing over who should get the largest share of the bonus pool. Traders are apparently claiming that even a pigeon could have sold bonds in 2009 and that salespeople therefore deserve little or nothing.

Other banks appear unaffected by such quandries. One JP Morgan insider tells us they still plan to announce bonuses this Wednesday (also several days after their results). "The bonus tax is unfortunate and confusing, but there's nothing we can do about it," she laments.

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