RSS
Wall Street’s bailout bonuses
Was $18 billion in bonus pay ‘shameful’ or fair compensation?
 

Wall Street gave out $18.4 billion in bonuses last year, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial, and that “boneheaded, tone-deaf” decision came after top financial firms asked for, and got, hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to save them from their own actions. The banks justify bonuses, which average $112,000, by saying without them, they’d lose their best employees. “To which we respond: Oh, please.”

Okay, so some Wall Street executives have a “political tin ear,” said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. But these firms really can't afford to let their most “talented financial minds” get snapped up by rivals. President Obama called the bonuses "shameful," but scapegoating capitalists is no way to fix the economy.

Sorry, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times, but taxpayers are the biggest shareholders in many of these financial firms now, and they've had it with these “corporate welfare queens.” Anybody who doled out big bonuses after receiving bailout money should be fired, and should pay back their ill-gotten gains.

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week