Further indications that investment bankers are overpaid

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CNBC has produced a handy ranking of the S&P's leanest companies based on revenue and profit per employee. It shows, as we have stated before, that investment banking is nothing special.

Ranked against the best in class from other industries, investment banking's finest - Goldman Sachs - didn't do too well last year.

As the graphs below show, it was beaten by the best performers in the leisure, food beverage and tobacco, energy, insurance, healthcare and materials sectors in terms of revenue per employee, and by even more sector leaders on profit per head.

Admittedly, 2008 wasn't the best year for investment banks. But although Goldman's 2006 figures ($2.6m revenue per head, $355k profit per head) show the industry in a better light, it still lagged many others even then.

Revenue per head in the most efficient S&P 500 companies, 2008

Revenue per head 2008

Source: CNBC

Profit per head in the most efficient S&P 500 companies, 2008

Profit per head 2008

Source: CNBC

(Incidentally, the figures quoted for Goldman above are different to those in a previous article. Those were derived from Wolfram Alpha and appear to understate the reality).