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Goldman Sachs wins pay dispute with former trader: filing

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[March 21, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  Goldman Sachs Group Inc has won a pay dispute with a former employee known for his role in shorting the U.S. housing market in the run-up to the financial crisis, according to a arbitration ruling this week.

Deeb Salem, who worked on Goldman's mortgage trading desk, had been seeking more than $21 million in compensation as well as legal costs and other penalties, according to the ruling by a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel.

Salem filed the claim last April, and Goldman sought to dismiss it in June. The panel granted Goldman's request on March 17. The document was posted to a Finra database on Thursday.

Salem gained some notoriety after the financial crisis because a U.S. Senate panel included his own performance review for 2007. In the review, he detailed what he described as Goldman's plan to put a "short squeeze" on the mortgage market. He also described himself as an expert trader and said he deserved to be promoted to managing director.

"I am as competitive as Michael Jordan," Salem wrote, according to Senate documents. "I don't just want to win  I want to win every time and I want to steamroll the opposition."

In his Finra claim against Goldman, Salem said he deserved higher bonuses for 2010 and 2011, and a bonus and deferred compensation that he did not receive for 2012. He left the Wall Street bank that year to take a job at GoldenTree Asset Management.

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Goldman declined to comment on the Finra dispute. Jonathan Sack, the lawyer representing Salem, said his client plans to file an appeal but declined further comment.

(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Suzanne Barlyn; editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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