Posts Tagged stealing from America

Incredibly stupid smart people

About Wall Street and it’s lunatic compensation packages:

Remember the latest Bank of America (BAC) bailout, the one we were all so steamed about last week? (The $20 billion of cash and $100+ billion of trash-asset guarantees that absolutely had to be given or else Bank of America shareholders might have lost everything?)

Yes, well, you probably thought that that cash would be used to bolster the bank’s capital or something. (We know you weren’t dumb enough to think it might have been used to make loans).

Alas, it wasn’t used for that. It was used to pay Merrill Lynch executives the huge bonuses they deserved for unloading their balance sheet on for-some-reason-not-yet-fired Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis.

Seriously.

I agree :

The news that Merrill Lynch paid out $15 billion in bonuses is sure to ignite new questions about the wisdom of bailing out Wall Street. Merrill Lynch took $10 billion from the TARP, allegedly to fill holes in its balance sheet. But instead of using that to repair its financial health, it simply put the money into the pockets of its employees. There is no way to defend this disgusting payout.

But that won’t stop Bank of America, which now owns Merrill, from defending the bonuses. And across Wall Street there are lots of people who actually believe that Merrill did the right thing.

How can so many smart people be so dumb?

Easily. There is a sick psychology of entitlement on Wall Street that was created during the bubble years. Many simply cannot believe that they do not deserve huge pay packages. Their brains have not caught up with the idea that they are working in broken institutions that would be unable to pay to keep the lights on if not for the fact that Washington has given them billions of taxpayer dollars.

This attitude of entitlement is the reason these companies need – immediately – a regulatory regime that makes the Depression era regulations seem like something happy shiny from Mary Poppins. Seriously – I’m over it. It’s obvious that the people running these companies are utterly incapable of grasping reality. They’ve run their companies into the ground and somehow think they should give out piles and piles of money as bonuses. They’ve stopped being capable of making sound judgments and they’re using our money to prop up their idiocy. If they can’t do any better than this, I’d say the US economy is better off without them.

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