Earlier we mentioned that while most of the local media was sad for Wall Streeters because they got lower bonuses last year than the year before, the New York Times thought it unseemly that the brokers ‘n’ traders got as much as they did. It seems the President sees it the Times‘ way: today Obama ripped Wall Street a new asshole over the $18.4 billion companies in the securities industry, including many TARP fund recipients, gave in bonuses.
Noting that this was the “same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004” — guess he saw the Times‘ graph — Obama said, “at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them,” giving big bonuses “is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.”
He added that the American people are in a “big hole” and that “they don’t like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they’re being asked to fill it up.” Also: “there will be time for [Wall Street] to get bonuses — now is not that time.”
This happened pretty recently, so right wing blogs haven’t had time yet to denounce Obama for telling American financial companies how to run their own, heavily government subsidized businesses.
Update: Wow, that was quick — A Blog For All gripes, “Apparently [Obama’s] not familiar with what that $18 billion represents to the economy of New York City, New York State, and New Jersey and Connecticut.” Yeah, it represents a small tip for each of us, and maybe a big score for some BMW dealers and interior decorators. We didn’t know Obama was elected to allow bankers to decide how to run the stimulus. So far, they’ve done a crappy job with the role they were given.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 29, 2009