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'Curious' About Bailouts & Exec. Bonuses

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'Curious' About Bailouts & Exec. Bonuses

It’s been a couple of months since the $700 billion bailout was issued to rescue Wall Street, but now many are wondering how the money is really being spent.

Alba is ‘Curious,’ “Why do we keep hearing about the bank industry getting bail out money and still giving bonus money?”

A very good question. The answer: some are not doing the big bonuses.

While last year those bonuses were flowing like the mighty Mississippi, this year is different.

The message was billions in taxpayer money was needed to bailout the big banks or else the credit market would seize and all would be lost.

Now we are getting a snap shot of perhaps one reason they need bailing out. Check out how much these guys were paying themselves and each other.

According to the Associated Press, last year, of the 116 banks now asking for bailout dollars, they paid their top tiered executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits.

The average paid to the bank’s top execs was $2.6 million – and that’s just the average.

John Thain was way above average. As the chief executive of Merrill Lynch he made $83 million last year.

Lloyd Blankfein, President and Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs took home nearly $54 million.

You’ll be happy to know both of these companies back in October took a $10 billion bailout.

So you would think these companies would learn their lessons. Not so much. They still defend flying some of their executives in private jets and still defend spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars to have private chauffeurs.

Now members of Congress want these guys to go before Congress to spell out their plans for all this bailout money. Just like the automakers.

Following their meeting they got rid of their jets and cut their huge salaries.

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