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Banksters used $85 billion of $140 billion taxpayer TARP money for bonuses in 2008

So, can we stop talking about this pissant $18 billion compensation figure and start talking about clawing back what was stolen?

Big Picture did the research, so would somebody from the A list give the hardworking Ritholtz a link? I didn't give 'em cooties, I swear.

2007senior-officer bonuses*/ total bonus pools**
Bailout money

Bonus Pools

Merrill Lynch
Reportedly, in December, just before Bank of America took over, John Thain quietly awarded $3 to $4 billion in bonuses, a month earlier than was customary.
Bank of America
The company granted 2008 retention bonuses to 6,200 Merrill brokers, and C.E.O. Ken Lewis declined to answer a question about this year’s bonuses at a shareholder meeting in December.
Goldman Sachs
Average compensation is reportedly down 45 percent in 2008 but will actually be a greater share of revenues than in 2007.
Morgan Stanley
The firm’s 2008 bonus pool is down 50 percent but is still estimated at $5 billion.
The ratio of compensation to revenues is reportedly not remarkably different for 2008.
Wells Fargo
C.E.O. John Stumpf and top executives have not said they will forgo their 2008 bonuses as of mid-January.
J. P. Morgan Chase
While net income was down 64 percent in 2008, bonuses are reported to be down only 30 to 50 percent.
*Total of top five bonus packages (including stocks) received by highest-ranking officers.

**Estimated as 60 percent of compensation where exact figures are not available.

Yay! Hank Paulson's golfing buddies can keep paying their greens fees!

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connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

are going to get the shit kicked out of'em'selves. If I were a gambling man, I would bet it will happen soon. Ans then what will happen? They will ask for more TARP money to pay for security and armored vehicles.

Submitted by jawbone on

Fair author -- or Ritholz? When I clicked on the links, the charts came up at VF.

And is there any breakdown of the bonus pool into the two different groups other than top execs, 2)the appropriate commission/P&L bonuses and 3) the misaligned compensation of the CDO/mortgage-backed buying managers?

These are really three different issues: 1) The CEO compensation; 2) Commission/P&L bonuses of profitable employees; 3) Misaligned compensation packages of the CDO/mortgage-backed buying managers.

The first one is a symbolic issue (and is irrelevant IMO) and the second one is perfectly appropriate — its the 3rd one that has become so problematic.

Did I miss something? Thnx!

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

I find that an interesting comment. I think it's extremely relevant. Something is seriously wrong with our corporatocracy when no one cares that the top 5 execs at some company can earn about $1B in bonuses in a year. Tell me how this can be considered normal? Even in our capitalist society, an economy that supports an oligarchy like that is way out of balance. TARP or no TARP, executive pay in this country is obscene. No one can be said to 'earn' that much money - particularly when results are not tied to reward. At most companies, the biggest expense is resource compensation. When executives make that much money, it's likely the case that if a company is in financial trouble - the best way out would be to fire the top 20 paid executives. Suddenly, profit might trickle down to regular employees and investment in research and development. What a concept. Gee, it might even result in the idea that the companies can afford US employees after all. Maybe rather than paying billions of dollars to the corporate oligarchy to hire resources from other countries, companies could pay regular salaries to US employees instead. And no, I don't believe those top 20 people are so god-like as to be irreplaceable. I'm pretty sure thousands of capable people would be submitting their resumes to do the top jobs for a lot less money.

I wonder how you have bought in to the corporatocracy to such an extent that you're willing to support and defend these bloodsuckers?

Submitted by lambert on

Big Picture assembled the charts from the two sources cited. And I think the three part distinction works conceptually, I'm not sure the chart reflects it, but I don't care about anything other than the totals anyhow.