• Poll: No Bonuses for Wall Street, But Sacks of Cash Still Pretty Cool

    Thanks to the hard-working elves at Treasury, you and I now own equity stakes in 88 shaky financial institutions. Yay! Even better than a pony! And as we've discussed before, the government bailout has made some people reconsider executive compensation, particularly for those executives who %*&!ed everything up.

    Bloomberg's new poll of American taxpayers chimes in…

    In the poll, 76 percent say banks that have received government cash should cancel year-end bonuses to employees this year. About half of those say all Wall Street firms, regardless of whether they participated in the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, should cancel bonuses.

    Still, a majority in the survey opposes a proposal by some lawmakers to cap at $400,000 the annual executive pay at companies that took taxpayer money.

    Wall Street's five biggest firms paid a record $39 billion in bonuses for 2007, a year when three of the companies suffered the worst quarterly losses in their history and shareholders lost more than $80 billion. The average bonus was $211,849.

    And if we're already taking that much money out of financial executives' pockets, we wouldn't want to cap their pay at a measly $400,000. That would just be harsh.

    Especially since there's a financial crisis going on.

    Tags: TARP, Wall Street


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