Thursday, January 29, 2009

They have no shame - Updated

Word has it the financial industry, those inventors of the 'creative instruments' that got us into this mess, who are sitting on $350 billion of our tax dollars, passed out some $18 billion in bonuses in 2008. That's apparently not much less then they got in 2004. Our president is not pleased.
"It is shameful," Obama said from the Oval Office. "And part of what we're going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility."
I suppose industry wide, there were some rank and file workers that really did deserve a bonus, but I'm betting the bulk of the money went to upper level management who really didn't. Either way it makes the stimulus harder to sell. Remembering the last minute rule change by the White House to the conditions of that bailout, a cynical person might think this was a feature of Bush's contribution to the TARP plan.

Update: The Caucus has a fuller quote. Unsurprisingly, the wire story paraphrased. Part of the problem here, besides the obvious greed, is it makes the stimulus bill harder to sell. Here's a key added sentence:
The American people understand that we’ve got a big hole that we’ve got to dig ourselves out of — but they don’t like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they’re being asked to fill it up.
I'd also note that the figures only represent monetary bonuses and don't include stock options so the real numbers are possibly much higher.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite being smeared with the epithet, socialist, from time to time; I'm not sure I really would embrace living in a truly socialist country.

But, damn, these guys are making it look more appealing.

7:21:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey DLB. None of the isms work in practice. All of them have some good points but they can't really invent reliable metrics for human greed.

I've always thought if I could take the best ideas from all of them and we could make a new model. I was going to call it Libbytarianism. Still haven't worked out how to beat that last metric though.

9:30:00 PM  

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