Bonus Backlash BeginsST
I guess the banks couldn't have kept things low-key for another year. Goldman posting huge profits and throwing record dollars into the 2009 bonus pool is causing a shitstorm, and we can expect a media frenzy to ensure that the natives continue to be restless.
Remember back in February, when AIG was about to pay out contractually-obligated retention bonuses to key personnel? Do you remember the bus tours that were organized to take the peasants to the homes of AIG officers? I have a feeling that's going to look mellow compared to the backlash that this bonus season will cause.
When people realize that the very money that was given to save the banks is being paid out in bonuses (of course it's not true, but the simplistic nature of a 15-second sound bite will make it so), the American public is going to go apeshit.
And you can count on the media to remind the American public on a daily basis about how much money Wall Street makes and how screwed Joe Six-Pack is.
Amid all this class warfare, a few faults have to be acknowledged on the part of the Street. Moore is correct in saying that, a year out from the meltdown, there still hasn't been a single new regulation to ensure the crisis never happens again. In fact, there hasn't even been a return to the common sense regulations that worked for decades but were repealed over the last two administrations (Bush & Clinton, not Obama).
The fact that the banks are spending so much money to lobby for the status quo is only aggravating the problem. The whole world knows Wall Street owns Washington, but do they have to rub our faces in it? Whatever happened to accepting a 7 or 8-figure bonus with a little discretion and humility?