Goldman Sachs average pay was $521,000 in 2005

And yes, that figures dates back to a report in early 2006 when Henry Paulson was still there running the show and making a comfy $38 million. It was a lifestyle that was never based on reality but now that the bill has arrived, taxpayers will get a splash of cold water reality in the face.

Last year, Goldman Sachs paid out $11.7bn (£6.7bn) to its 22,425 employees – around 3,000 of whom are in London.

Hank Paulson, the chairman and chief executive, was paid $38m in salary, shares and options – a 21 per cent increase on 2004. An average figure per staff member of $521,000 bursts through a barrier not even breached during the dot-com boom in 1999 and 2000.

This is a 12 per cent increase on the $466,000 average disclosed for 2004. It is twice the level of average pay at rivals Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

Wall Street banks are paying out a record $21.5bn in bonuses for 2005, according to New York State figures. That dwarfs 2004′s $18.6bn and tops the previous record of $19.5bn in 2000. The average bonus in 2005 was $125,500 – some $25,000 more than in 2000.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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