Executive bonuses at Wall Street banks exceed profits

In case you were confused what the purpose of Wall Street banks was, you now know.

Several financial giants that received federal bailout money in the last year paid out bonuses to employees in 2008 that greatly exceeded the amount of profit generated by the banks, according to a study on executive compensation released by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Thursday.

Despite claims by bank executives that bonuses are tied to the company's performance, the report states that "there is no clear rhyme or reason to how the banks compensate or reward their employees."

Cuomo's investigation "suggests a disconnect between compensation and bank performance that resulted in a 'heads I win, tails you lose' bonus system."

According to the report:

• Goldman Sachs, which earned $2.3 billion last year and received $10 billion in TARP funding, paid out $4.8 billion in bonuses in 2008 - more than double their net income.

• Morgan Stanley, which earned $1.7 billion last year and received $10 billion in bailout funds, handed out $4.475 billion in bonuses, nearly three times their net income.

• JPMorgan Chase, which earned $5.6 billion in 2008 and received $25 billion from the government, paid out $8.69 billion in bonus money.

• Citigroup and Merrill Lynch lost a combined $54 billion last year. They received a total of $55 billion in bailouts and paid out $9 billion in combined bonuses. ($5.33 billion for Citigroup; $3.6 billion for Merrill Lynch, which was subsequently acquired by Bank of America.)

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even worse

I wrote a post, have a say on say on pay, which did get reasonable reads on EP, ...but the reality is the House Finance Services committee passed a "do nothing" bill which enables corporations, board of directors to completely ignore shareholders on their opinion of executive pay.

and even then, believe this or not, they are saying this very empty bill will not pass the Senate.

So...of course we had all sorts of outrage earlier over AIG bonuses....

but few are talking about real structural reforms on either executive compensation or corporate governance.

So....to drum up some public awareness, I decided to cross post some of this over at the big orange.

So....guess what? I didn't even get a "tip jar" hit and people didn't even address the topic at hand and the few comments talk about progressive personal tax structure!

So, HuffPo also had a couple of posts on this...and there too, only a few comments!

Meanwhile, all day long we've had nothing but what beer so and so is drinking and is hat PC or not? Oops, it's "foreign" beer and blah, blah...

and then I turn to CNBC to hear how we don't need any regulatory reforms, we have plenty and they just "missed this one".

AAARGGGHH!!! So, it's like we cannot get the public focus to even understand these issues, never mind adopt them is what I got out of today.

I mean how are we going to get the much needed policy reforms if first, you cannot even get anything out of a Democratic laden committee or people to even care...
never mind the GOP corporate bogus wall to try to kill any attempt to break up the financial oligarchy or at least makes these glorified feudal lords act more in the interests of the state.

In addition, this is TARP funds and some of these, Citigroup are being estimated to never repay this money...which means taxpayers just paid these bonuses, assuredly. BoA is still a possible as well.

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