FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Wall Street Bonus Madness

You created an economy that is so unstable that the bankruptcy of a few big firms would mean worldwide catastrophe.

Your policies lost the world $10 trillion on stock markets in the last month alone.

You’ve started a worldwide recession/depression that will go on for years.

So for a punishment we’re giving you $20 billion in bonuses.

No, this is not a Saturday Night Live gag. It’s what will happen this year in the good old U S of A. It’s all spelled out nicely on Bloomberg.com. The article by Christine Harper and Serena Saitto starts off by explaining that Merrill Lynch will hand out $6.7 billion in bonuses even though it has lost money for five straight quarters and saw its stock fall in value by 70%. (The company also sold itself off to the Bank of America.) $13 billion is being set aside at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Even some employees at Lehman Brothers will be given big fat end of the year envelopes even though the company has gone bankrupt.

Merrill Lynch is actually raising bonuses this year by a couple of thousands. They’ve laid off 3,000 people so even though the pot is smaller there’s more for the survivors to feast on. The average bonus will be well over 100K. The better off Wall St. companies will be giving twice that amount.

You see this is what is expected on Wall Street. If you want to keep your “talent” you have to reward them. Otherwise they will go to …..hmmm. The hedge funds are shedding jobs by the thousands. The investment banks are now bank holding companies and laying off like mad. Foreign companies can’t use them. Ah…if they don’t get the bonuses the talent will undoubtedly run off to big careers managing homeless shelters.

The article quotes Bill Coleman at the Massachusetts software firm Salaries.com as saying that Wall St. has created such an “obscene” standard of compensation that the big shots really believe “it’s hard to live on just a half million dollars a year.” This does not appear to be much of an exaggeration. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported securities-industry employees averaged $400,000 a year in salary alone last year.

But how can the banks pay out so much money? Oh, I forgot, the US treasury is sending $700 billion into the banks to prop them up and hundreds of billions more to keep them “liquid”. (as if bankers lived in deserts and were in constant danger of dehydration.)

This actually doesn’t have to happen. These flat world whiz kids have literally wrecked the world economy. We’re just at the beginning of the collapse. It’s funny how they are afraid to use the word “recession”. The word “recession” was invented so they wouldn’t have to use the word “depression”. Depression itself was in its day a non-threatening alternative for the older term for business bust, a “panic”. Heck, why not just call it a “reverse upwards boom”?

The idea of basing world business on trillion feet high mountains of sliced and swapped debt is horse manure. We need completely new thinking, ideas for government owned banks to lend out money to worker-community corporations that actually produce things. There’s hundreds of thousands of people out there with the technical and financial education to create such a system. They’ll be happy to do the work and you won’t have to pay them half a million apiece.

In the meantime, here’s a proposal. Some artist needs to come up with an angry vulgar graphic that can be emailed by the thousands to the Wall St. companies and to Congress along with a short sweet message in 50 size font:

“Not a cent of Wall Street bonuses this year. Not on my dime. Let those con artists feast on white bread and margarine. Use the billions to keep people in their homes.”

STANLEY HELLER has started a website with the grand goal over reaching the average person by talking about economics in plain everyday language. It’s www.EconomicUprising.8k.com Contribute ideas at Stanley.Heller@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail