Plenty of scorn has been heaped upon the titans of finance in the last few months. Politicians and plebs alike have railed against the excesses of Wall Street and clamored for reform while making the effort to restart the economy. In the last days of a Republican White House, Democrats in Congress aided the President with $700 billion in relief for Wall Street, so that credit would begin to flow yet again. Now we learn that credit is still stuck and yet, these financiers that tanked our economy took in nearly $20 billion of bonuses last month. The public outrage was not unforeseen, but the reaction to it from bankers and traders is downright obscene.
From The NY Times:
“People come here because they want to work hard and get paid a lot for working hard,” one investment banker said Friday as he wended his way, lunch bag in hand, through the World Financial Center. “I think there’s a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.”Oh yeah, there is a disconnect for sure. The realities for those struggling to get by and those who struggle to wait for a table at Jean Georges are worlds apart.
Sounds more like a SCHMUCK than anything else to me. The delusion here is high while the nation suffers miserably in a time where tens of thousands are laid off in a single day. This guy should be grateful he has a job. Then there was the criticism of the President for daring to speak ill of their kind.
“My bonus is ‘shameful’ — but I worked hard to get it,” said John Konstantinidis, a wholesale insurance broker, lunching Friday at Harry’s at Hanover Square.“I’m a HENRY,” Mr. Konstantinidis added. “High Earner but Not Rich Yet.”
“I think President Obama painted everyone with a broad stroke,” said Brian McCaffrey, 55, a Wall Street lawyer who was on his way to see a client. “The way we pay our taxes is bonuses. The only way that we’ll get any of our bailout money back is from taxes on bonuses. I think bonuses should be looked at on a case by case basis, or you turn into a socialist.”Mr. McCaffrey wouldn't know the definition of socialism if it smacked him open-handed in the face. What does he think the bailout money is, something out of the pages of Keynes or Locke? And then there's this callously-laden gem at the end of the article:
What about the trillions you and brethren have lost over the last couple of years? Where is your contribution towards fixing that? How do you justify being rewarded with bonuses when your company is losing billions upon billions of dollars? Really, there is no excuse, none at all. I swear, in another time and place, their actions would be criminal.
“On Main Street, ‘bonus’ sounds like a gift,” he said. “But it’s part of the compensation structure of Wall Street. Say I’m a banker and I created $30 million. I should get a part of that.”
“There’s got to be a better term for it,” he added, turning to Mr. Novello.“Earned income credit?” he wondered aloud.