On January 23rd, The New Botton Line — an organization challenging banking influence in our country — released a report titled, “Pulling the Curtain Back: The 1% Behind the 2011 Big Bank Bonuses.”
The publication explains how large banks, despite the excesses of the housing bubble and the consequences of the housing market collapse, continue to pay out large bonuses and salaries while middle class families suffer.
Bank executives realize that public opinion is against them and have tried to say that overall compensation is down. However this is untrue. According to the report, “The nation’s top six banks—Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs—paid out $144 billion in bonuses and compensation this year, making 2011’s payday the second highest on record for these six firms.”
This is what really hits home. Banks offered questionable loans before the housing bubble reached its zenith, asked for government support when things went bad, and then failed to take any responsibility for their actions. Instead, banks continue to lobby for reduced regulations, while middle class workers are just struggling to pay the bills.
The report also gives examples of how banks executives and board members could take responsibility and make things right…
- Just half of the banks’ bonus and compensation pools would be enough to write down the principal on all underwater mortgages in the country.
- If the six banks took half of their bonus and compensation pools and put it directly into a jobs fund, they could create 1.8 million jobs and still have enough money left over to pay the average employee $60,605.
- Just 72% of the $144 billion in bonuses and compensation at the top six banks would have been enough money to plug the $102.9 billion in budget holes for all 50 states for the current fiscal year.
To read more about the report, click on the links below:
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