Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Onus of the Bonus

According to a report released today by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo , in 2008 many of the big investment banks that received federal bailout money paid bonuses to their employees which were greater, sometimes vastly greater, than their profits. Click here to read a full copy of the report, entitled "Heads I Win, Tails You lose."

Some highlights:

JP Morgan Chase recieved $25 billion in TARP money, earned $5.6 billion, and paid out $8.69 billion in bonuses.

Goldman Sachs recieved $10 billion in TARP money, earned $2.3 billion, and paid out $4.8 billion in bonuses.

Morgan Stanley recieved $10 billion in TARP money, earned $1.7 billion, and paid out $4.475 billion in bonuses.

And finally, my absolute favorite:

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch lost a combined $54 billion and recieved $55 billion in TARP money. Citigroup paid out $5.33 billion in bonuses and Merrill paid $3.6 billion.

I'm in the wrong business. I would have been willing to lose your retirement savings and sink the world's economy for a fraction of that, say, eight digits. Maybe I'll start taking some night classes.