The chilling caw of the raven in Edgar Allen Poe’s classic tale of horror was, “Nevermore.”
In a modern update, however, a covey of greed-crested Wall Street bankers have one-upped Poe with an on-going tale of financial horror in which their incessant, bone-chilling cry is: “Evermore.” As in evermore money for themselves – fatter salaries, guaranteed bonuses, expansive perks… more, more, more.
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If you thought that Wall Street’s birds-of-a-feather would be embarrassed by their disastrous management failures, chastened by the collapsed of their banks, shamed by the massive government bailouts, and humbled by the public’s disgust at their greed, you don’t know your birds. This particular breed has a sense of entitlement that’s bigger than all of Dallas. A recent study, for example found that even as nine of Wall Streets biggest bank failures were grabbing bailout money last year, they were lavishing bonuses of more than a million bucks apiece on about 5,000 of their top bankers. These banks lost a total of $81 billion in 2008 and went begging to Uncle Sam for $165 billion in direct bailout funds – yet they merrily awarded $32 billion in bonuses to their executives!
Yes, that means they used our tax dollars to cover this bonus-for-failure program.
This year, the same flock of Entitled Ones is already setting aside billions of dollars for executives bonuses to be paid at the end of the year, and they’ve even returned to the cuckoo practice of guaranteeing themselves multimillion-dollar bonuses – no matter how they perform.
It’s time we quit pampering these sociopaths by allowing their absurd sense of self-entitlement to swamp common sense and the common good. No mere banker should be paid a dime more than what a good teacher, a fire fighter, or a nurse makes.
“Bankers Reaped Lavish Bonuses During Bailouts,” The New York Times, July 31, 2009.
“Citigroup Has a Plan To Fatten Salaries,” The New York Times, June 24, 2009.
“Effort to Rein In Pay On Wall St. Hits New Hurdle,” The New York Times, August 10, 2009.
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