No Christmas celebration for Goldman, again

Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:41pm EST

* Wall Street's dominant firm will not hold holiday party

* Firm skipped last year's party amid financial crisis

NEW YORK Nov 12 (Reuters) - There will be no eggnog for Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) this year.

Wall Street's dominant firm -- much-criticized for paying out-sized bonuses so soon after taking a government bailout -- is forgoing its Christmas party, spokeswoman Gia Moron said.

The bank also skipped its year-end party last year, as the financial sector was reeling from the demise of Lehman Brothers.

Goldman is weeks away from deciding how much to pay its top employees at year-end. It has reported more than $3 billion in profits in each of the past two quarters and so far this year has set aside nearly $17 billion for compensation and benefits.

The firm's public-relations struggles extend beyond the realm of pay. Last week, the firm was one of several banks to receive doses of H1N1 flu vaccines for distribution to at-risk employees. The TV show Saturday Night Live lambasted the firm for receiving as many doses as a major New York hospital (Reporting by Steve Eder; Editing by Gary Hill)

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