We could have bailed out California with all the money that taxpayer-subsidized nine banks are handing out in bonuses.
If you have a strong stomach, you can read all about it in this Wall Street Journal piece.
Otherwise, here are a few highlights, which were uncovered and released to the public by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
* Even though these nine banks each played a role in destroying the global economy, and required a rescue from the federal government to the tune of billions, they gave their executives nearly $33 billion in bonuses last year.
* As the WSJ piece points out, this is one-third larger than the budget of California, which is the 8th largest economy in the world, and needs a federal bailout in the worst way.
* Nearly, 5,000 bailed-out bank employees are getting bonuses of $1 million or more.
* Six of the nine banks are paying out more in bonuses than they earned in profits.
Wall Street apologists argue this is the kind of dough it takes to retaint talent. It takes a pretty sick ego to apply the word “talent” to these bankers, given that they required taxpayer assistance to keep from going under after years of pass-the-debt gamesmanship.
I suppose, however, that it indeed takes at least a certain kind of talent to loot the U.S. Treasury and divide the plunder right before our eyes. Reminds me of the title of a book about the old savings and loan crisis: “The Best Way to Rob A Bank Is To Own One.” Times have changed since the S&L days. Now all you have to do is have a job there.