So the other day Obama put out word that he was putting a new rule in place for the remaining TARP funds to put an end to the Wall Street companies continuing to hand out big bonuses—upwards of $18 Billion so far—using taxpayer money in spite of the fact that they fucked up the financial markets. It’s a bit of a slap in the face that they’d come begging for money and then use it to reward the very people who got us in this mess to begin with. Now any company getting a bailout must cap their executive pay at $500,000 plus possible stock options, but the stock options can’t be sold until the firm pays back the government what it borrowed. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?
Not if you’re a Wall Street executive it ain’t:
As news of the plan leaked last night, wealthy Wall Street went into panic mode, insisting that the caps would ruin the financial industry. It’s “a nightmare for any financial institution,” CNBC host Joe Kernen proclaimed this morning, while Fox Business host Alexis Glick said it was evidence of Obama being “a little anti-business.” Others insisted that the “draconian” caps would drive the “best and the brightest” away from Wall Street and that Obama’s anger over executive bonuses was misplaced:
“That is pretty draconian — $500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus.” [James F. Reda, founder and managing director of James F. Reda & Associates]
“If I didn’t pay [bonuses], the people were going to go. … These people didn’t choose to cure cancer. These people didn’t choose to do public service work…These people chose to make money.” [Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric]
“The consequences of it are going to be a massive brain drain of senior talent from those companies that have taken TARP money to those companies that have not.” [Donald Straszheim, managing principal at Straszheim Global Advisor]
“Companies that need the most talented people to fix their problems won’t be able to pay them.” [Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer]
Awwww! Poor fucking rich babies! How will they EVER survive on just $500,000?!?! Here’s an idea: Give me $500,000 and I’ll happily show you and I won’t even fuck up the economy in the process! Hell! I’ll be a one-man stimulus plan! You’d be amazed how much $500,000 a year would improve not only my quality of life, but my local economy to boot!
Cry me a fucking river.