The Lizard investment banking firm known as Lazard: A shining greedy example of what is wrong in America

You can’t make this shit up.

Suggested new logo for Lazard Ltd.

I have an idea for a great new slogan for Lazard Ltd.

How about:
Lazard Ltd. Invest with us so we can steal your profits for ourselves.

What should have been a profitable quarter a Lazard Ltd. turned into a surprising loss due to the investment bank paying its people big bonuses.

The firm doled out $616 million in compensation and benefits to about 2,300 employees last quarter, or more than triple the amount handed out in the same period in 2008. It was a consequence, Lazard said, of a decision to pay more bonuses in cash and accelerate some deferred cash awards from a prior year. But so great was the firm’s generosity that compensation costs overwhelmed quarterly revenues and resulted in a net loss of about $55 million for the fourth quarter. The charges also almost wiped out full-year profits.

Oh, and the investors are just “not happy”.

Investors weren’t happy, driving Lazard’s stock down by about 3% in midday trading.

Not happy?  Apparently, investors haven’t learned that “Not Happy” means nothing.They should be storming that place with pitchforks and torches.

And of course, their CEO claims he “had” to do this to retain all those fabulous high-performance employees who have done such stellar job. That must be why their earnings are$185 million less than they were in 2008. Apparently, great  employees who tank earnings are at a premium these days.

For all of 2009, Lazard had $11 million in earnings, down sharply from the prior year’s $196 million. Total compensation costs for all of 2009 were a little over $1.3 billion, or an average $565,000 per employee.

Gee. If the past is any barometer, this company seems like a prime candidate for a Ben Bernanke Bailout.

I rest my case.

(h/t Swell)


39 Responses

  1. “And of course, their CEO claims he “had” to do this to retain all those fabulous high-performance employees who have done such stellar job. That must be why their earnings are$185 million less than they were in 2008. Apparently, great employees who tank earnings are at a premium these days.”

    To me this is maddening! We have been hearing over and over how they have to pay out bonuses to keep these people. Keep them??? Why do they want to keep these people? So they can run the firm into the ground and grab more bail-out money???

  2. If anyone saw the Pay Czar on Cavuto yesterday, you know where we are going. I felt as if I were watching “Orwell Live!”

    Don’t know if there is a YouTube out there, but if there is, it’s worth the look.

    The arrogant self-appointed importance and obnoxiousness of this “Czar” was frightening, and a real reflection of the Obama Administration’s personality.

  3. Watch the latest news video at

  4. Sorry – tried to embed

    here is the link if that doesn’t work

  5. Unfortunately for me, the time has passed. I used to work for one of those large banks but, sadly (for me), that was before they lost their minds and started giving away stockholder’s money to themselves.

  6. I did not see it FF but it is up on Fox- talk about double speak!

  7. LOL FF- We were typing at the same time!

  8. Double-speak is right, Mom. Although some of his points “make sense” it appears he is unable to “act” because – well….

    and the dish ran away with the spoon, as Uppity would say.

  9. If anyone saw the Pay Czar on Cavuto yesterday, you know where we are going. I felt as if I were watching “Orwell Live!”

    They don’t use the word CZAR for nothing.

  10. i don’t know what to say- when he said he has not and does not talk to the WH? So he is on his own? making it up as he goes along?

    The nursery rhyme it calls to mind for me is

    “There was a crooked man, he walked a crooked mile……

  11. Perfect, mom. Perfect.

  12. Oh God- O just looked that poem up- there’s a graphic there for you FF- check this out if you need a laugh today!

  13. Mom – I feel certain he is not on his own. I am sure that Smilin’ Timmy Geithner is wringing his creepy elf hands and breathing over Feinman’s shoulder, saying “No, not that. No, they can keep THAT too.”

  14. Funny Mom, when you mentioned that I had a Feinman Crooked Man in my head instantly.

  15. Yeah FF- go look at that link- it gives a funny little history- Charles the First- deals between England and Scotland- Those who do not learn from history?

  16. FF check your email. I got another brain fart.

  17. Got it Uppity.

    Hey mom – do you have a preference for Service Branches?

  18. I do- but I keep it close so as to avoid any hassles for my son and his wife. All branches protect us and I love all our troops!

  19. We have some “crooked men” who are so crooked that when they die, they will have to screw them into the ground. And they are in charge!

  20. LOL UW! They are digging the hole to China and dragging us all in after them! I would like to screw then back into whatever hole they climbed out of!

  21. getfit – I bet Chris Matthews was first in line

  22. Jesus! What a bunch of idiots NBC spawns! Collard greens and black eyed peas? Are these people out of their minds? Talk about sterotyping. Dear God!

    Can you imagine if FOX tried that?

    Hopefully this is a hoax. lol. But I guess not. I see NBC twittered that they “took down the sign”. LOL.

  23. If the past is any barometer, this company seems like a prime candidate for a Ben Bernanke Bailout.

    Will there be an awards ceremony because I see huge numbers in contention?

  24. Isn’t this nice, Blue Cross of CA raising it’s rates on individual policy holders as much as 39%! What other area of the economy has seen 39% inflation??,0,3002094.story

  25. Imust rate are going up across the country. Oddly the percentage of increase seems to be similar across the board in every state, funny that don’t you think.

    The big insurers are doing the same thing the credit card companies ramping up their fees ahead of any proposed legislation. If any kind of bill actually passes with some kind of price controls they will REALLY hit us up before it goes into effect. All the bills being considered wouldn’t take effect until 2013 so I think we can all plan on hefty increases between now and then.

  26. Apparently, these lizards have a long and creepy track record. Karma being a bitch though, their creepy leader croaked in October 2009.

    Starting to feel not so sorry for their shareholders, the info was out there. Why invest with a company this sleezy? I’m just sayin’

  27. Yeah Somebody, but they replaced their creepy leader with another creepy leader.

  28. Heck imust. I “only” got a 34% increase. I guess I’m lucky……

  29. Looks like Blue Cross did that all over the country, imust. And they aren’t alone. So did the HMOs etc. They ALL did it because they are ALL Price Fixers!

  30. BX BS and the rest of them announced their increases in most places in December for Jan 1. It was in anticipation of a big fat windfall from “required” new customers. I did a post on how I got a letter that basically not only told me my rate was going up, but basically, their hints were that I should avoid using my insurance as much as possible because “usage” of clients make rates go up. These people are despicable.

  31. Geeze Louise, will you get a gander of what’s organizing the national tea party for-profit?|htmlws-sb-w|dl1|link3|

    And here’s his web site. He meets his clients at starbuck’s and the office listed isn’t his.

    He’s selling tickets to see Palin for $549 and if you buy one, the money goes into his wife’s paypal account.

    Sweet Jesus. I don’t even know what else to say.

  32. My what an interesting fellow huh?

    I wish someone had asked Palin why she still plans on attending, since several others backed out.

    Hopefully the little convention planned by several within the state will take care of this kind of crap. Maybe Tennessee can serve as a model to keep this from happening in other states. I’m not involved in the tea party movement and I know there are plenty of assholes trying to jump on their bandwagon…..But I honestly think a lot of the people that are involved or call themselves tea partiers simply want fiscal discipline in DC.

  33. Palin has been in TX supporting Rick Perry against Kay Bailey Hutchinson (pro-choice R, by the way) in the R primary. Perry is a gov. who didn’t accept stimulus money for extended unemployment benefits…for the little people, you know. However, Texas has borrowed $1558.2 million from the federal government to fund unemployment benefits

  34. Make no mistake, Sarah is a Right Social Conservative and people have to live with that if they are going to support her. I would always defend her against sexist or misogynist attacsk, I would nerver hurt her or work against her (unless her opponent were Hillary, in which case,she’s under the bus) but I do not support her agenda one bit.

  35. Uppity wrote: “So did the HMOs etc. They ALL did it because they are ALL Price Fixers!”

    Three frigging people from MY HMO were here to tell me my rates were spiking 60 percent. Why three? One would be sufficient to tell “No way in hell can we pay that!” I guess the person needed backups. Grrr. Dropped out of it and am no covered by JO’s group plan for hospital employes and their families.

    Crooked little man was made into a tune and reached #6 on the billboard of top hits in 1964, Serendipity Singers crooning it. Now, that damn song is stuck in my head.

    “Ah, ah, oh no, don’t let the rain come down….
    My roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown!”

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