Now we find out that the top six banks in the US, including Goldman Sachs, paid out bonuses and compensation for 2011 that competed with those paid in 2007 to the tune of $144 billion, according to a report by The New Bottom Line.
Adding insult to injury, there may be a settlement reached with the states' AGs and the Wall Street banks "including loan modifications and principal reduction" for a measly $20-25 billions from the banks. That makes two sucker punches at the same time!
The report says:
"If the six banks took half of their bonus and compensation pool and put it directly into a public service jobs fund, they could create 1.8 million jobs and still have enough money left over to pay the average employee $60,605."
But we are well aware that Goldman Sachs is not about community service or serving the public needs; they are about money exchanges, fees and hedge fund bets.
Wall Street Bank Bonuses and Compensation Near 2007 'Good Times' levels, Report Finds
Posted by ENews Park Forest from The New Bottom Line
Report details how big bank bonuses could be used to rebuild the economy and profiles web of connections of bank board members who benefit from keeping bonuses high
New York, New York—(ENEWSPF)—January 23, 2012. The nation’s top six banks -- Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs -- paid out $144 billion in bonuses and compensation for 2011, second only to the record $147 billion they paid out in 2007 at the height of the economic boom, according to a report released today by The New Bottom Line. Four banks – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley – were awarded record high bonuses and compensation in 2011, despite their bleak stock performance during the year.
“Even though top bank executives have claimed that bonuses are down as much as 30 percent for 2011, total compensation has not decreased at all,” according to The New Bottom Line’s report, “Pulling Back The Curtain: The 1% Behind The 2011 Big Bank Bonuses.”
Many banks made up for smaller bonuses by increasing base salaries. For example, base salaries for named executive officers at Goldman Sachs more than tripled in 2011. At JPMorgan Chase, named executive officers saw salaries go up 50 percent.
These near-record bonuses come amidst the news that a settlement is near between Wall Street banks and a group of states Attorneys General, including a predicted $20-25 billion in loan modifications and principal reduction. While the big banks continue to profit off the loss of the 99%, this potential sweetheart deal could let the banks off the hook for their crimes and only pay a small drop in the bucket.
“Big banks can crash the economy, take billions of dollars in tax-payer funded bailouts, award themselves more than $140 billion in bonuses and compensation, but can’t afford the necessary principal reduction that would help millions of homeowner?” said Tracy Van Slyke, co-director of The New Bottom Line. “The settlement in its current form is a settlement for the one percent. President Obama must stand with the 99 percent and take the bold and necessary action to hold Wall Street and the big banks accountable. “
The New Bottom Line, which works with foreclosed families and underwater homeowners around the country, has called on President Obama to order a full investigation into the fraudulent and illegal activities of the big banks during the mortgage crisis. The New Bottom Line also maintains that a minimum of $300 billion in principal reduction for homeowners
Instead of going to bonuses and compensation, the report details how this money could used to rebuild the economy decimated by the Wall Street banks during the mortgage crisis. Specifically:
Just half of the banks’ bonus and compensation pools would be enough to write down the principals on all underwater mortgages in the country.
If the six banks took half of their bonus and compensation pool and put it directly into a public service jobs fund, they could create 1.8 million jobs, and still have enough money left over to pay the average employee $60,605.
Just 72% of the $144 billion in bonuses and compensation at the top six banks would have been enough money to plug the $102.9 billion in budget holes for all 50 states for the current fiscal year.
The report gives examples of how the money could be spent in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Ohio. For example, just four days of bonuses and compensation at the top six banks would be enough to restore $2.2 billion for local schools in Minnesota.
Read the rest of the article here
A summary of the report can be found here