Big Bonuses Are Back

Wall Street’s stratospheric pay culture still remains, as you’d expect, a sacred ritual and largely intact.

According to the WSJ, Bank of America (BAC) investment bankers — the same bankers  who borrow money from the Fed at 1% while charging credit card holders 36% — are expected to receive bonuses equal to what they got in 2007.

BofA spokesman Robert Stickler declined to comment on specific amounts but said the figures still could change and must be approved by the bank’s board later this month.

“Therefore, no one should make assumptions about amounts,” he said. “We are a pay-for-performance company. Any generalities about levels of salaries are inaccurate to the extent that we pay individuals based on their own performance, the performance of their unit and the performance of their company.”

Wall Street gave itself almost $20 billion in bonuses in 2008, the same amount they received collectively during the much more bullish 2004. While we do not really subscribe to the notion that bankers should generally be slammed over their compensation packages ; the idea of  handing out money to the richest segment of the population while so many in Main Street are unemployed or underemployed, shows just how out of touch some Wall Street firms really are.

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