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Submitted by Mary Bottari - www.prwatch.org...
A short time ago, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo released a report focusing on the bank bonuses paid out by the biggest banks in 2008, the same year they were bailed out by federal taxpayers. The report notes that in many instances the bank bonuses exceeded bank profits, the implication being that taxpayer dollars were being used to subsidize the salaries of the ace banking executives who created the financial crisis in the first place.
Highlights from the report No Rhyme or Reason: The Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Bank Bonus Culture include:
Two firms, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, suffered massive losses of more than $27 billion at each firm. Nevertheless, Citigroup paid out $5.33 billion in bonuses, and Merrill paid $3.6 billion in bonuses. Together, they lost $54 billion, paid out nearly $9 billion in bonuses and then received TARP bailouts totaling $55 billion.
For three other firms—Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase—2008 bonus payments were substantially greater than the banks' net income. Goldman earned $2.3 billion, paid out $4.8 billion in bonuses, and received $10 billion in TARP funding. Morgan Stanley earned $1.7 billion, paid $4.475 billion in bonuses, and received $10 billion in TARP funding. JPMorgan Chase earned $5.6 billion, paid $8.69 billion in bonuses, and received $25 billion in TARP funding. Combined, these three firms earned $9.6 billion, paid bonuses of nearly $18 billion, and received TARP taxpayer funds worth $45 billion.
In sum, Mr. Cuomo wrote:
Thus, when the banks did well, their employees were paid well. When the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well. And when the banks did very poorly, they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were still paid well.
Why hasn’t anyone been prosecuted for looting the American taxpayer?