Friday, January 30, 2009

Shameful Bankers: Bonuses Down ALL THE WAY to a Level Not Seen Since.... 2004?

I was ready to rant, but I saw President Obama already took care of it on my behalf:

When I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves $20 billion worth of bonuses -- the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004 -- at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them, and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that, if they don't provide help, that the entire system could come down on top of our heads," the president said, "that is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.

To me this is more than shameful. I'd go with outright criminal to those determining and approving bonuses of this level, in this environment, and with taxpayer money. Lets hope (make that pray) that Christopher Dodd makes good on his promise:
"I’m going to be urging — in fact not urging, demanding — that the Treasury Department figures out some way to get the money back. This is unacceptable."
Because apparently, the Investment Banking Bonus Matrix we detailed back in November is all too accurate:



  1. Even Dodd's comments are highly untruthful. While they claim $20B in bonuses, they will only attempt to attack the very top of executives' claims at likely less than 10% of future bonuses.

    Hmmm. $700B out and $2B "protected" for taxpayers. What a deal!!!!

  2. Jake,

    Dodd's comments reveal, as I wrote in a comment at The Big Picture:

    that Dodd and others of his ilk (from both parties) are part of the problem and not the solution.

    What is unacceptable is Congress voting to shovel huge amounts of taxpayer money to prop up corporations that should be out of business. Not only that, what is additionally unacceptable is giving such money without appropriate conditions. Such conditions should include at a bare minimum:

    * replace the board of directors for failing to supervise top management

    * replace top management who led these companies to the brink of insolvency

    * pay new top management government wages with the ability to earn bonuses only upon repayment of government money

    * suspend dividends or at least limit them to a very nominal amount