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Goldman Sachs will ignite a storm of controversy in the new year when it reveals that its bankers are on course to collect pay and bonuses worth $19bn (£11.4bn), despite 2009 being the worst year for the US economy in 30 years.
The news comes as banks in Britain find themselves in the firing line after it emerged that 5,000 bankers stand to collect more than £1m each, sparking criticism from ministers who accused financiers of being out of touch as millions are thrown out of work amid recession.
Tim Geithner yesterday rejected Goldman Sachs' claim that it could have withstood the financial crisis without government intervention, adding that all banks were at risk of being wiped out.
"None of them would have survived a situation in which we had let that fire try to burn itself out," the US Treasury secretary said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television...
..."We have consistently said that if the financial system collapsed, we would have collapsed too. We believe that government action averted a major systemic problem,'' Goldman said.