Wall Street may earn $19 billion in 2010, its fourth-most profitable year, even as regulatory changes and a weakened economy limit its ability to generate profit, New York state's comptroller said.
DiNapoli said Wall Street has nonetheless benefited from federal bailouts and low interest rates, and may see profitability settle near levels that prevailed prior to 2007 and 2008, when it lost $54 billion overall.
It sure was nice of us to bail them out, after they almost destroyed the US economy. And even though at least 10% of us are unemployed and struggling, and there's opposition to further extending unemployment benefits that expire just before Christmas, here's news that will make us feel all warm and fuzzy:
DiNapoli expects to provide his annual tally of Wall Street bonus payouts in early 2011. Overall Wall Street bonuses totaled $20.3 billion in 2009, up 17 percent from 2008.
According to the pay consultant Johnson Associates Inc, Wall Street workers may see individual bonuses rise an average 5 percent this year, though weak trading results may lead to declines for some employees.
Of course a more cynical person than I might call this .....greed. Someone like Jim Hightower
By the laws of economics, if not physics, bonuses should fall to earth this year, because the bankers have performed poorly. Trading is down, profits are flat (despite being given trillions of dollars in almost-interest-free money by the feds), firms are firing lower-level employees, and banker greed has ruined the public reputations of the financial giants.
Who cares, shriek the big shots – its bonus time, baby, so grab all you can! The CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and others have set aside billions of dollars to flood their executive suites with bonus cash at the end of the year – money that should go to shareholders. Their claim is: "We deserve it, for we took low pay during the crash of 2008-2009." For example, Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs' boss was paid a mere $9 million last year, so this year he wants that "sacrifice" to be made up to him.
Blankfein provides us with a perfect illustration for the phrase "having no shame."
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org