Bonus checks for Wall Street? How about a reality check instead…

<p>As the US Treasury hands HUNDREDS of billions in aid to Wall Street firms, these firms will now be paying billions in bonuses to their work force. These are our tax dollars, something like $5000 per working family! How in the heck can Wall Street justify any type of bonus? The country's economy is in the ditch, prospects for a near-term recovery are declining with each passing week and yet the fiddlers on Wall Street fiddle on while paying themselves handsomely with our tax money. </p>

<p>It's not often that I agree with Barney Frank, but it is unconscionable that Wall Street firms are paying themselves any kind of bonus. And as Nell Minow of corporate governance research firm, Corporate Library, says, "they are just a bonus away from having the villagers come after them with torches." Just tell me where the mob is forming….</p>

<p>Who's next? The auto industry? </p>

<p>As</a> securities industry drowns, bonuses remain unsinkable - FierceFinance</p>

<p>I worked "on Wall Street" for about 14 years. The way the compensation was structured was that everyone got a "reasonable' salary, on which they could live -- but the bonus was held out as a carrot to incent you to work hard and bring in money. If you did well, you'd get rewarded well; if you had a bad year, you'd get a bad bonus. Nevertheless, you'd still get a bonus. </p>

<p>I hope that the Wall Street firms will give nothing or only tokens to those who lost money for their firms. I'm sure there are at least a few people who deserve real bonuses, but I'd imagine they're few and far between.</p>

<p>I am APPALLED that these firms are even considering giving bonuses to anyone making more than, say, $100K - (I'm figuring $100K in NY is pretty modest and those workers probably had little or nothing to do with the greed and stupidity that led to the implosion.)</p>

<p>I read the other day that AIG is planning BIG bonuses. Do these people have no decency? (Thank you Joseph Welch!!)</p>

<p>Considering the Wall Street folks clearly have no sense of shame, the US Govt, who just gave them tons of bucks, should tell them NO BONUSES this year (and, if it were up to me, I'd make them return their bonuses from last year.)</p>

<p>And if anyone is lighting torches, please tell me where - I'll be joining you!!</p>

<p>It's not often I agree with both Hawkette and Frank but I'm ready for the 100% tax rate on all bonuses paid to any firm receiving federal bailout money.</p>

<p>Pass the lighter fluid.</p>

<p>The sad thing is that if there are no bonuses this way and the NY Attorney General is trying to prevent it, at least for the TARP recipients, the state and city will lose huge amounts of tax revenue. We're already looking at a huge deficit.</p>

<p>Send the bonuses to the city.</p>

<p>"The sad thing is that if there are no bonuses this way and the NY Attorney General is trying to prevent it, at least for the TARP recipients, the state and city will lose huge amounts of tax revenue. We're already looking at a huge deficit."</p>

<p>Maybe the entire state needs a reality check.</p>

<p>I got a bonus check once, for $50. Got a 1099 for that check too. Cheapskate.</p>

<p>You aren't supposed to know how much bonuses are being paid. You are only supposed to hear things like "bonuses will be slashed by 50% this year!"... which means that the guy who got paid $1mm last year (for bringing a few CDO's to market) will only get $500k this year. </p>

<p>Wall Street is all about self enrichment, and the primary function of the corporation is the enrichment of senior management. If you understand those two principles you can explain most of the behavior on Wall Street and the corporate world.</p>

<p>In my first professional job, I had to basically program bonuses for the company.</p>

<p>The amount of the bonus was entered by data entry people into our files. What I had to do was figure out the amount to pay the employees so that the amount that they got after taxes was as close as possible to the target bonus amount. That was a lot of fun.</p>

<p>I did get to see all of the bonuses though and the wide range between those at the top and those at the bottom. A real eye-opener. Even back in the late 1970s.</p>

<p>The kind of hours my staff work, you couldn't get them to do it for 100K. If auto workers were working 60-80 hours a week, would you pay them for 40 hrs? I got home at 8, while eating dinner got a call from work about some system wasn't running, it finally got resolved (2 hours later) and now I am ready for bed. My firm, one that's not taking hand out from any government, is cutting our bonus because they can. Yes, my firm is not having holiday parties (the memo said for optic reason, but I wonder if caterers or waiters would understand that), most of my colleagues are cutting back drastically this holiday - probably not as much tips for their doorman, household staff, newspaper man, no catered parties, less presents. Yes, there will be a lot less money spent this holiday season for everyone.</p>

<p>It's estimated that investment bank employees and their service providers represent a third of NYC homeowners. They keep the city afloat. There is a lot of fear about what will happen to 7 million people.</p>

<p>Most employees of the banks that remain get the vast majority of their compensation via bonus. It's not like other industries. The guys who previously made $10MM/yr were probably pulling down a salary of $200K and getting the rest in bonus. Also don't forget that much of their money had to remain invested in their firms so they really were not taking home all of the dollars that headlines scream. Their portfolio's are in the toilet too. </p>

<p>But we're not talking about those guys, most of whom will take home very little this year at most banks. They represent a small fraction of the employees at ibanks. Very small. We are talking a lot of secretaries, back office personal, young kids, etc. who had nothing to do with the greed of the crooks. Many of these folks borrow money to even out their cash flow. What should happen to them?</p>

<p>Here is another reality check - the going rate for a full time babysitter in NYC is around $700/week, plus tax and health insurance.</p>

<p>Actually Oldfort that sounds low. My neighbor just had to raise her nanny's salary to $60K
to keep her! Doormen make over $100K, and a good secretary $150K. Everyone was benefiting from the largess of The Street.</p>

<p>My kids are 19 and 15, so I am a bit outdated, but that's what my secretary makes, they are threatening to take her away from me.</p>

<p>It sounds like New York could do with some serious deflation.</p>

<p>But they pay 4 times as much for swordfish so it's even out. It only helps you if you sell your home and move to a low cost area.</p>

<p>Sucking the money out of Main St looks to have made NY City a bubbletown with widely varying income ranges. Deflation should narrow that range. Especially if you can't continue to suck the money from Main St in a leveraged way. So compensation goes down for everyone as do prices. Is that so bad?</p>

<p>It's complex BC. It's not just WS. Trash collectors make (and deserve) 6 figures.</p>