November 09, 2009

Pitchforks? Anyone? Or Just Tea Bags?

Wall Street Record Bonuses Return as Big 3 May Pay $30 Billion -
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank, survivors of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, are set to pay record bonuses this year.

The firms -- the three biggest banks to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- will hand out $29.7 billion in bonuses, according to analysts’ estimates. That’s up 60 percent from last year and more than the previous high of $26.8 billion in 2007. The money, split among 119,000 employees, equals $250,400 each, almost five times the $50,303 median household income in the U.S. last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The three will award more in stock and defer more cash payments under pressure from regulators to tie pay to long-term results, compensation experts said. They may still face public wrath over the size of bonuses after the government injected capital into all the major financial institutions following Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse in September 2008.

“Wall Street is beginning to resemble Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in the film ‘Gone With the Wind’: ‘Quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,’” Paul Hodgson, a senior research associate on compensation at the Portland, Maine-based Corporate Library, said in an e-mail. “It doesn’t seem as if even political threat, disastrous PR, envy, rising unemployment rates and home repossessions is enough to get any of these people to refuse the bonuses they have ‘earned.’”

1 comment:

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Being "back in the homeland" again, (or close to it) I can sense the cultural zeitgeist better. I'm seeing more awareness of Gollum Sucks, and more anger. On the Saturday Night Live comedy sketch show, and a snappish black comedienne named Wanda Sykes there were wicked gibes aimed at Gollum. Awareness and anger is growing.

It's tense enough that those rapacious bastards are doing things like giving interviews to the Times of London. Quote illustrative of the mood:

"Aha! You catch us plotting in real time," says Lloyd Blankfein, breaking away from a cabal of senior executives discussing his trip to Washington the previous day. Blankfein, 55, Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, is wearing a grey suit with a jaunty Herm├Ęs tie with little red bicycles on it. In his hand, he’s carrying one of those cups of coffee that look bigger than the human stomach. Maybe it’s the caffeine, maybe it’s the tie — a birthday present from his daughter — but he’s in a remarkably jolly mood for a man everyone seems to hate. "It’s like a safari here," he jokes. "You’ve come in to look at the animals."

Note the smarmy self-deprecating humour (I AM going to have to use BritAussie spellings, because these damn Canucks do it that way -- "theatre," "labour", etc.). Blankfink is making it seem like "Ha ha, I know people distrust and hate us, and I laugh at it." But the point is, he DOES feel the hatred, and knows his rotten gang of maggots is a target. He might larf, but he's nervous. Or so I'd like to hope.

But even if a mob of 100,000 peasants with petrol bombs and assault rifles attack Gollum's HQ, people like Blankfuck wouldn't care. Their billions are stashed in Switzerland. They'd lift off in helicopters like Americans fleeing the embassy in Saigon in 1975, while their secretaries and traders were being hacked to death. The men at the top would get away, using their "troops" as human sacrifices.

So a mass slaughter of people who work at 85 Broad might not be the perfect solution. But it would be a good start!


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