Severance packages take a dive

When it comes to severance packages, it pays to be laid off early in the retrenchment cycle.

It's natural to assume that those who are fired early get the worst deal - after all, they've been out of work longest. But when it comes to severance packages, on average, those who were the first victims of the subprime-sparked crunch got better deals.

At Goldman Sachs, for example, those who were retrenched in the summer got statutory severance plus a pro rata bonus for the months they had worked, based on 2007 levels of incentive compensation. In the...

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