by Deb Cupples | As everyone now knows, the Bush Administration wants to funnel 700+ billion tax dollars to Wall Street firms and execs that helped drive our nation's economy toward the cliff's edge (partly by re-packaging, over-valuing, and selling mortgages).
The Republican Administration seems amenable to "compromising" with congressional Democrats (who want greater accountability and oversight) and with congressional Republicans (who are preoccupied, at present, with bizarre political posturing).
One sticking point for the Republican Administration: it does not want to limit the compensation of executives at Wall Street firms that will receive our tax dollars. The Dems want compensation limits, which makes sense -- especially given a recent Bloomberg report:
"Wall Street's five biggest firms paid more than $3 billion in the last five years to their top executives, while they presided over the packaging and sale of loans that helped bring down the investment-banking system.
"Merrill Lynch & Co. paid its chief executives the most, with Stanley O'Neal taking in $172 million from 2003 to 2007 and John Thain getting $86 million, including a signing bonus, after beginning work in December. The company agreed to be acquired by Bank of America Corp. for about $50 billion on Sept. 15. Bear Stearns Cos.'s James ``Jimmy'' Cayne made $161 million before the company collapsed and was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June." (Bloomberg)
And that's just the top execs. Each of those companies had hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of lower executives, managers and employees who got commissions or bonuses or stock options for helping keep their stock prices artificially inflated by perpetuating the foreseeably dangerous re-packaging and selling of mortgages.
I'd like to know precisely how many billions (combined) all of those execs, managers and employees got in commissions or bonuses.
Then, I'd like to see those billions of apparently ill-gotten gains taken away from those thousands of execs, managers, and employees -- and used to help fund the Wall Street bailout.
They're the ones who made the mess: why shouldn't they help us taxpayers clean it up?
And why should guys like Jimmy Cayne skate out of their collapsed companies with millions of (shareholder) dollars in their personal bank account(s)?
Why should Mr. Cayne's immediate family be able to count on luxurious living without ever having to work again -- while we ordinary taxpayers fork over money to clean up Mr. Cayne's (and other executives') gargantuan messes?
Memeorandum has commentary.
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