NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Thursday sought to deflect criticism about sky-high compensation by drastically cutting back how much it put into its bonus pool and giving $500 million to charity.

The investment bank reported blowout fourth-quarter earnings, driven in part because it restrained compensation amid a public outcry about excessive compensation and perceived arrogance. It posted a profit of $4.95 billion, or $8.20 a share, on revenue of $9.62 billion.

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