Per Christine Harper at Bloomberg this morning:
Wall Street’s five biggest firms are paying a record $39 billion in bonuses for 2007, a year when three of the companies suffered the worst quarterly losses in their history and shareholders lost more than $80 billion.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. together doled out $65.6 billion in compensation and benefits last year to their 186,000 employees. Year-end bonuses usually account for 60 percent of the total, meaning bonuses exceeded the $36 billion distributed in 2006 when the industry reported all-time high profits.
The report reminded Blawgletter of the Rule Against Making Too Much Money.
Did you not know that the Rule exists? Actually it doesn’t — at least not as a rule per se. As the pirate Captain Barbossa said about the Code of the Order of the Brethren, "the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules."
Pocketing humungous profits in a time of cascading investor losses does exacerbate the investors’ pain. Need we add — also the likelihood that they’ll pursue a lawsuit to seek recompense from the Wall Streeters Who Made Too Much Money?