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October 20, 2008

Red Alert: They're Raking It In


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Leave it to Friday's Guardian to report that a 10% chunk of the infamous $700 billion bailout, or $70 billion. will be paid out in bonuses to those who brought you the "Bush Crash"

Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.

None of the banks the Guardian contacted wished to comment on the record about their pay plans. But behind the scenes, one source said: "For a normal person the salaries are very high and the bonuses seem even higher. But in this world you get a top bonus for top performance, a medium bonus for mediocre performance and a much smaller bonus if you don't do so well."

[clickie is D's]

Oh THAT'S how it works! Is this an admission of abnormality? And why, pray tell, did this piece of investigative reporting break in an English, rather than an American, newspaper?

Never fear, the lovely Elizabeth Kuchinich is a Brit and reads the Guardian, so her enlightened hubby, Dennnis, is right on top of it

"When Congress placed restrictions on excessive executive pay, it had no intention of permitting business as usual with respect to bonus structures," Kucinich said. "It would add insult to injury to ask taxpayers not only to bailout a firm, but to pay for bonuses as well. The Guardian's report necessitates an immediate inquiry."
All of us here at Dakota pray that Kuchinich has some klout as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Hold it! Here's a bit about those generous executive bonuses in the Wall Street Journal A FULL FIVE DAYS LATER!

On the darker, lighter side Tim Minchin sings a ditty for "normal" people

Merrill Lynch exec bonus

Photo note: See title above- refresher on the alert system -shot when running an errand for Joe the Plumber

Posted by Dakota at October 20, 2008 04:03 PM