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No tears for Lloyd Blankfein 

LowDown

I know that this story might make you tear up, so now would be a good time to reach for a tissue.

It's about the fate of Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of the Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs.

Ready? He only took home $12 million in pay last year.

To grasp the terrible sadness of this, you should know that Lord Lloyd hauled in more than $68 million in 2007, the year prior to Wall Street's crash.

So, see, you'd be down, too, if your pay had been cut by 80 percent.

But don't feel too badly for Blankfein and his Brothers of the Street, for — look! — a rainbow is beaming across their dark financial sky!

And we know what's at the end of that radiant arc, right?

Yes, a pot of gold, and the happy news is that the annual pay of Wall Street bankers this year is back up to near-record levels.

The base salary of all the minions of high finance now averages nearly $400,000 — which is an increase of 16 percent over the past two years. Hey, who says these are hard times?

Of course, up in the suites where bankers-in-chief like Blankfein reign, the base pay is much sweeter than average.

Plus, base pay is the least of it, for at year's end, it's bonus time! This is when multiple millions of dollars are stuffed into the pockets of the Street's elites, and this year is expected to produce a bonus-palooza. At last, then, it looks as though Blankfein will overcome the sadness and embarrassment of last year's $12 million check.

And who could be more deserving of such a felicitous ending?

After all, did he not labor diligently this year to eliminate 3,200 of Goldman's lower-level employees as a way to save money in order to pay top dollar to Goldman's top bankers (such as himself)?

Yes, he did. Plus, he lobbied ferociously to kill reforms to rein in banker greed. So he'll now cash in.

Now, that's really something to cry about.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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