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After having seen millions of jobs lost and trillions of retirement savings erased because of the financial crisis, Americans were outraged to learn that Wall Street firms paid out more than $18.4 billion in cash bonuses in 2008, the sixth largest bonus pool on record. Even more shocking, many of these Wall Street firms had just received billions in taxpayer money to help prevent their collapse.
For years, CEOs have justified their high compensation as being “pay for performance.” But for Wall Street, the promise of high annual payouts without the need to worry about long-term consequences created incentives to pursue such unsustainable business practices as using short-term borrowing to invest in mortgage-backed securities. Wall Street pay packages encouraged executives to take risks their firms could not support. Now American taxpayers are on the hook for these bad decisions after Wall Street executives reaped inflated pay during the bubble years.
For example, in 2007—the year the financial crisis began to unfold—the top 10 recipients of the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) collectively paid their CEOs a combined $242 million in total annual compensation. That averages nearly $25 million per CEO to run companies that might have gone bankrupt if not for billions of dollars in taxpayer assistance.
CEO Pay at the Top 10 TARP Bailout Recipients
Company TARP Funding  CEO Name 2007 Total Pay 
Citigroup $50 Billion Charles O. Prince $25,520,621
Bank of America $45 Billion Kenneth D. Lewis $23,646,455
American International Group $40 Billion Martin J. Sullivan $13,960,382
JPMorgan Chase $25 Billion James Dimon $28,887,532
Wells Fargo $25 Billion John Stumpf $14,797,458
General Motors $14.3 Billion G. Richard Wagoner $19,761,874
Goldman Sachs $10 Billion Lloyd C. Blankfein $53,966,198
Morgan Stanley $10 Billion John J. Mack $41,790,854
PNC Financial Services Group $7.6 Billion James E. Rohr $18,623,679
U.S. Bancorp $6.7 Billion Richard K. Davis $ 6,473,874
The $700 billion TARP bailout plan was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. As a condition of receiving aid, TARP participants are not allowed to offer pay incentives that encourage “unnecessary and excessive risks” by senior executives, may not pay golden parachutes and must adopt claw-back provisions for any executive pay based on inaccurate financial statements.
However, these executive compensation limits did little to protect taxpayers from subsidizing excessive bonuses. For example, Merrill Lynch accelerated its 2008 bonus payments just before it merged into Bank of America, which then received $20 billion in TARP aid to help complete the merger. American International Group (AIG)—now nearly 80 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers—granted millions in incentive bonuses to its financial services unit that was largely responsible for the company’s collapse.
State Minimum Wage
2008 Jan 1, 2009 July 2009
2008 Jan 1, 2009 July 2009
Alabama $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Montana $6.55 $6.90 $7.25
Alaska $7.15 $7.15 $7.25
Nebraska $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Arizona $6.90 $7.25 $7.25
Nevada** $6.85 $6.85 $7.55
Arkansas $6.25 $6.25 $7.25
New Hampshire $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
California $8.00 $8.00 $8.00
New Jersey $7.15 $7.15 $7.25
Colorado $7.02 $7.28 $7.28
New Mexico $6.50 $7.50 $7.50
Connecticut $7.65 $8.00 $8.00
New York $7.15 $7.15 $7.25
Delaware $7.15 $7.15 $7.25
North Carolina $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
District of Columbia $7.55 $7.55 $8.25
North Dakota $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Florida $6.79 $7.21 $7.25
Ohio $7.00 $7.30 $7.30
Georgia $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Oklahoma $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Hawaii $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Oregon $7.95 $8.40 $8.40
Idaho $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Pennsylvania*** $7.15 $7.15 $7.25
Illinois $7.75 $7.75 $8.00
Puerto Rico $6.55 $6.55 $6.55
Indiana $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Rhode Island $7.40 $7.40 $7.40
Iowa $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
South Carolina $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Kansas**** $6.55 $2.65 $2.65
South Dakota $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Kentucky $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Tennessee $5.58 $5.58 $7.25
Louisiana $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Texas $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Maine $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Utah $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Maryland $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Vermont $7.68 $8.06 $8.06
Massachusetts $8.00 $8.00 $8.00
Virginia $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Michigan $7.40 $7.40 $7.40
Washington $8.07 $8.55 $8.55
Minnesota* $6.15 $6.15 $6.15
West Virginia $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Mississippi $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Wisconsin $6.50 $6.50 $7.25
Missouri $6.65 $7.05 $7.25
Wyoming $6.55 $6.55 $7.25
Originally posted by nixie_nox
And we have to pay for our own education. Most countries don't.
Our cost of living is much higher.
We have to pay for our own healthcare.
Originally posted by Ra
I work for one of those outsourcing money-grubbing corporations, and we were told its all about the bottom line. We can increase profits and pay bigger dividends to our investors!! GREED!!! Thats the real culprit here.
I'm still employed only because our group is needed to process the moving of our American jobs to the Asian-Pacific islands of Malaysia & Singapore and good old red China!!! I'm currently training my Malaysian replacement so my days are also numbered.
I've watched as 9000+ of my fellow American employees have been laid-off over the last 2 years while our Asian plants have swelled, hiring twice or three times as many workers to replace we US workers, and take our jobs and business from highly trained & educated Americans.
Who was not affected in my company by these massive lay-offs? Our European brethren who have strong private and national unions that protect thier jobs & workers from greedy money grubbing corporate scum!!! Our American unions were nuetered in the 1980's by Reagan and his corporate cronies and now dubya shrub and his merry band of corporate scrotebags are finishing the job started by uncle ronnie and daddy!!!
So now we see some legislation in the Senate and the House to take away tax incentives from corporations that gut our American economy to save their investors a few pennies on their shares!!! It may be to little too late but it is a start!!
Thats the truly saddest point to all of this crapola, the feedback after the first 2years of non-US operations for our company? We saved a few dollars on labor costs but shipping, tariffs, import/export costs and "country of origin" issues are costing us thousands of $$$$$$'s more per unit shipped!!!!
Thats right, because we're allowing what are considered Muslim countries to build our products we must send this work from the "Questionable country of origin" built units to a sub-contactor in another country that is considered to have "favored nation status" to allow shipments to countries like Israel or to even sell to our own govt!!!! Can you imagine being a US military personnel and your using a piece of equipment that may have been made by the hands of the same
people who are shooting at you in the war zones of Iraq or Afghanastan? It boggles the mind!!!
As Americans we can alter this very dark time by working to start unionizing your place of employment right away, its the only way to save our jobs and our way of life!!! I've started doing so in my company and strangely enough most of our local management team is all for it, wanting to save our American jobs as well. Our corporate managers on the other hand are hopping mad and want the organizers fired but they can't!!!
At least our laws afford the American workers some protection, at least until we know the outcome of the November elections!!!
Take back America from corporate greed!!!
Anybody But Bush Again!!!!!
[Edited on 11-3-2004 by Ra]