Wall Street Pay Breaks Record, Thanks to Taxpayers

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley benefited from hundreds of billions from TAARP. Higher revenues amplified Wall Street’s bottom lines.

Combined pay at financial firms hit an all-time high last year and the percentage of revenue that went into employees’ pockets climbed from 31.1% in 2009 to 32.5% last year.

As William Alden of The Huffington Post notes, the Federal Reserve $600 billion asset-purchase program, intended to stimulate the economy, has “also been a direct and indirect boon for the banks. As it buys U.S. government debt, the Fed announces its purchases ahead of time, giving certain banks an opportunity to profit on the trades.” (Wall Street Pay Broke Record Last Year., 2/11/2011)

“On a per-employee basis, the average pay and benefits added up to about $141,000, up from $136,000 in 2009 and the previous high-water mark of $138,000 in 2007. High-earning traders and managing directors earn many multiples of the average.” (U.S. Seeks to Defer Portion of Bonuses, WSJ, 2/5/2011)

Yes, it is important to bring the economy back from the brink but why do we reward those responsible for bringing the system down?

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