Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Anal retention (bonuses)

Relentless arrogance. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup's Smith Barney received at least $60 billion in government bailout funds. They're now set to give out retention packages to their 'top executives.' Rumor has it the total cost will be as much as $2 to $3 billion. And they're going to base the retention (please don't call them bonuses) packages on the 2008 figures instead of using the merger date as the criteria.
"I think I can hear you clapping from here in New York," Gorman joked during the call, after announcing that the payments would be linked to '08 performance. "You should be clapping because frankly that is a very generous and thoughtful decision that we have made. We spent a lot of time kicking this around. We could easily have done it from the point of closing, which is obviously going to be somewhere in the latter half of this year or around the middle of the year. But we just decided... that it was right thing to do, to give you that certainty that it would be based off '08. '09 is a very difficult year... So that degree of anxiety, which many, many of you have emailed me about... is now off the table."
Am I the only gagging here? Meanwhile the companies are commited to making $1.1 billion worth of budget cuts as part of the merger agreement. Read that to mean that the cubicle workers will be terminated so that the top brass can keep their chauffeurs.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]

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