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CNBC's Liesman: Goldman Sachs Bonus Not Enough?

Wall Street continues to buzz about the massive $16 billion in bonuses paid to Goldman Sachs executives. But amazingly--there is a line of thinking that maybe Goldman execs might not have been paid "enough." That's right--not enough. CNBC's Senior Economics reporter Steve Liesman was on "Morning Call" to discuss this way out contrarian argument.

Liesman says there's a way to look at the big Goldman payout and conclude that Goldman execs--in percentage terms--took a pay cut this year. At 43%--compensation as a precent of revenue was LOWER at Goldman this year--than Lehamn Brothers and Bear Sterns . And it was lower that what analysts guage as the industry average range.

Liesman related how analyst Jeff Hart says the reason Goldman could pay so much more in absolute dollars--but less in percentage terms that its peers-- is that it grew revenues at twice the rate of its competitors.

Goldman's compensation as as percentage of revenue actually fell this year compared to last year--43% from 47%. It's the lowest percentage payout since Goldman went public in 1999--according to Citigroup.

Meanwhile--Liesman says--profits as a percentage of revenue climbed this year to 25% from 22%. So the company as far as shareholders are concerned--was more profitable.

Liesman finished up by saying that no one at Goldman is complaining abou their bonus--yet.