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Bailouts and Bonuses

Money Tunnel
Flickr photo by Keith Ramsey

It’s bonus season on Wall Street. The big banks and firms that crashed our economy are doling out millions to high-rolling CEOs, stock traders and hedge fund managers.

What are they doing to make so much money? Absurdly, they’re using the same high-risk financial gimmicks that crashed our economy back in 2008. The payouts have no link to creating real value or a sound economy in the long term.

So we’ve started a campaign calling on Wall Street to stop rewarding itself for making more trouble with our economy.

More than 9,000 activists have already signed the petition demanding Wall Street end its outrageous pay practices. Sign at www.citizen.org/wall-street-pay-petition.

How out of control is Wall Street pay? You be the judge.

JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, is expected bring home more than $17.5 million.

Lloyd Blankfein, the infamous CEO of Goldman Sachs, got $13.2 million.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman raked in $15 million.

It may be hard to believe, but by Wall Street standards, these are historically low compared to pre-crisis payouts. Blankfein alone got $70 million in 2007. And CEOs are not necessarily even the highest paid employees at these firms.

Meanwhile, the median income for working Americans in 2005 was $28,567. (More recent census data are not yet available; one can imagine the impact of the economic crisis has not been good). 

The bottom line is that the American economy is still struggling to recover. We can’t afford to have banksters paying themselves millions to make things worse.

Sign the petition today, and follow this link to spread the word.

Rick Claypool is an online organizer in Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.