"These paychecks are highly rational from the shareholders' perspective. The basic pay structure is the same at all of these banks. The bankers make relatively modest base salaries and receive most of their compensation in the form of bonuses. The average bonuses will be around $500,000-$595,000 at Goldman Sachs and $463,000 at JP Morgan Chase, but some will make far more (as much as eight figures). These bonuses are big and they are unremittingly linked to performance. Together a mere five banks -- Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, all of which got billions of bailout dollars -- have allocated about $90 billion for overall compensation, with bonuses comprising more than half."
My simple mind tells me that giving large bonuses (Latin: to the good) to people who work for companies that wouldn't exist if not for billions in a government bailout (read taxpayer money) is ludicrous. Through their own greed and stupidity they almost brought down our financial system, but unlike a small business that would just be left to go out of business -- they were "too big" to let what should have happened -- happen. In true laissez-faire capitalism (those who do not want the government to interfere in business matters, or if governments do involve themselves in business matters, to keep government influence to a minimum) they would be unemployed now, not receiving billions in undeserved bonuses. We should have expected this from the Wall Street types who give hundreds of millions in golden parachutes to CEOs who run companies into the ground.
They are no different then degenerate gamblers who loses all their money and then file bankruptcy to avoid paying what they should... but when they win keep it all. Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, a Wharton graduate and former GE Capital executive prior to joining the Society, has an alternative...