Goldman's Blankfein again gets record-busting bonus

Not all chief executives at the nation's largest investment banks will receive a lump of coal instead of their typical millions of dollars in holiday bonuses this Christmas.

In a year where most investment banks lost billions of dollars on bad bets in the mortgage industry, Goldman Sachs Group's gs chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, took home $68.5 million in total compensation — a record for an investment bank chief executive.

Blankfein will receive $26.8 million in cash, and $41 million in stock and options, Goldman disclosed Friday. He also received a base salary of $600,000.

Blankfein's bonus is a 27.2% jump from the record bonus he received last year of $53.4 million in cash and stock.

Goldman Sachs was able to largely avoid the mortgage-losses that plagued its competitors, leading it to post record profits during the year. Goldman Sachs posted $3.2 billion in profit in its fourth quarter alone, far surpassing its peers.

Other investment banks have been hit hard by the declining value of debt backed by mortgages. As those mortgages — especially subprime home loans made to customers with poor credit history — have increasingly defaulted, the banks have been forced to cut the value of the bonds.

The only other chief executive among the five largest U.S. investment banks taking home a year-end bonus is Lehman Bros. Holdings' leh Richard Fuld. Fuld will receive a stock award valued at about $35 million, the company said, shortly after announcing it earned $870 million during its fiscal fourth quarter ending Nov. 30.

Morgan Stanley ms Chief Executive John Mack said earlier in the week he is bypassing his year-end bonus because of "deeply disappointing" fourth-quarter write-downs tied to losses in the mortgage market. Morgan Stanley wrote down the value of $9.4 billion in bonds backed by mortgage debt during the fourth quarter, en route to posting its first ever quarterly loss.

Mack received a stock and option bonus in 2006 that, at the time of the award, was worth $40 million.

Morgan Stanley did pay co-presidents Walid Chammah and James Gorman a combined $17.9 million in restricted stock.

The investment bank paid Chammah $9.44 million and Gorman $8.45 million in restricted stock, the company disclosed in regulatory filings Friday.

Chammah received about 174,000 shares of restricted stock and Gorman got 155,380 shares. Morgan Stanley shares closed up 5.84% on Friday at $54.37. (Reporting by Tim McLaughlin)

Bear Stearns bsc Chief Executive James Cayne is also spending the holiday season knowing the year will not end with tens of millions of dollars. Cayne and Bear Stearns other top executives will not receive bonuses this year, as the company was among the hardest hit by mortgage woes.

Though he will not officially receive a year-end bonus, Merrill Lynch's mer new CEO, John Thain, took home a $15 million cash bonus just for taking the job. Thain took over as CEO Dec. 1 from Stanley O'Neal, who was forced into retirement after Merrill Lynch took nearly $8 billion in mortgage-related write-downs in the third quarter.

Blankfein's payout isn't the biggest for other parts of Wall Street. Dealmakers at hedge funds and private-equity firms could bring in substantially larger bonuses. For instance, Blackstone Group bx CEO Stephen Schwarzman made $400 million in 2006.

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