Mar
4

What the banksters think of us




Posted at 18:42 by Brad

Anyone who has read Liar’s Poker or any number of insider accounts of major Wall Street firms knows that the big problem with the banksters isn’t merely that they’re greedy. Rather, it’s that they’re spoiled, entitled pricks who absolutely refuse to own up to their own personal failings. This attitude can be seen in these amazing transcripts where AIG traders lash out at the very taxpayers who saved their pitiful asses from being tossed out on the street:

The employees said that the corporate leaders who had driven the firm into the ground were already gone from the company. Those who had remained behind to help clean up the mess and repay the taxpayer bailout were due their compensation, they told Pasciucco.

“You made a commitment to us, and we made a commitment to you. And for anybody to look beyond that, as the politics and the media are at the moment, is missing the point,” said an employee. “You can’t expect us to just roll over and ignore that commitment because there is a bunch of immoral bigots that intend us to do something different. It’s not going to happen.”

Another was even more irate, lashing out at the public for scapegoating AIG employees. “To be honest with you, I really hope it blows up. I think the U.S. taxpayer deserves to lose a trillion dollars over this thing for the way they have behaved.”

And then he turned on politicians who had joined the anti-AIG posse. “They only care about the next election, just like we only care about the next bonus. Well, none of them cares about the country, none of us cares about the institution,” he said, adding: “They really don’t care, and I really don’t care. And frankly, if a trillion dollars gets lost, fine.”

The AIG retention bonuses have rankled many in the public because the company has received a federal rescue package of about $180 billion in loans, stock investments and other commitments from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. Closing down AIG Financial Products’ trading portfolio has been vital to stemming further losses and repaying the public money.

My general reaction: Just quit, you assholes. Try taking around your résumés to other firms if you’re so convinced in your own inflated sense of self-worth. But this is just a guess — when you go in for an interview with another company, having five years’ experience of selling credit default swaps in AIG’s Financial Products division isn’t going to help you get a job. Shit, I wouldn’t hire you to vacuum my rugs or take out my garbage. Because in the end I don’t think that you guys possess any real skills that are useful outside of your own little bubble world.

160 Comments »

  1. Pere Ubu said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:46

    Because in the end I don’t think that you guys possess any real skills that are useful outside of your own little bubble world.

    Shoveling shit, since they evidently have plenty of prior experience in the task.

  2. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:47

    Brad, I agree with you, in that we shouldn’t be rewarding the pricks who got us in this mess in the first place.

    I’m not sure, tho, that the people who did nothing (either good or bad) prior to the collapse but who then pitched in to help AIG get its feet back under it and who did it with the promise of a little beak-wetting don’t deserve at least something.

    Perhaps a deferred bonus to 2010 or 2011, or perhaps a share of the stock options instead of cash, but their anger is not entirely misplaced.

    However, all that said, to whine about letting a trillion dollars go down the drain smacks of entitlement.

  3. Brad said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:47

    Shoveling shit, since they evidently have plenty of prior experience in the task.

    Yeah but they even fucked THAT up. They’re some of the most worthless human beings on the entire planet.

  4. Brad said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:49

    I’m not sure, tho, that the people who did nothing (either good or bad) prior to the collapse but who then pitched in to help AIG get its feet back under it and who did it with the promise of a little beak-wetting don’t deserve at least something.

    Lots of workers at GM and countless other businesses have had to take pay cuts this recession through no fault of their own. For these assholes to whine and cry about not getting their massive bonuses despite the fact that the U.S. taxpayer is the only thing keeping them from begging for food on the street is beyond disgusting. They can rot.

  5. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:51

    Would it surprise you to learn, Brad, that many of the people who work in the brokerages rely on their bonuses to pay the rent?

    For a secretary making $40,000 in New York City, that barely buys food! But that bonus at the end of the year, the $30K or $35K, makes all the difference between living in an apartment and being out on the street.

  6. Brad said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:53

    Would it surprise you to learn, Brad, that many of the people who work in the brokerages rely on their bonuses to pay the rent?

    Don’t care, don’t care and don’t care. Move to a smaller apartment. You should be grateful that the American taxpayer has eaten a giant wad of shit in order to keep your useless ass employed.

    And stop it with the secretaries — they weren’t getting multi-million dollar bonuses in the first place.

  7. slippy said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:54

    I’m sure these folks can all just go Galt and let us know how the fuck it works out.

    Go on! To the Gulch with ye, whiny assholes!

  8. Galt's Gulch - Colo Springs said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:55

    Plenty of room, c’mon over!

  9. Dr. BDH said,

    March 4, 2010 at 18:57

    “They really don’t care, and I really don’t care. And frankly, if a trillion dollars gets lost, fine.”

    Nice sentiment. Listen, scumbag, that’s about what has been lost in value thanks to AIG and Goldman Sacks. You don’t care? That attitude should qualify you for a march out the door and onto the curb, not a bonus.

  10. AIG trader said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:00

    ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME!

  11. Bullsmith said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:02

    Isn’t it nice to know our tax dollars made sure all these people made oodles more money than we do? If only we weren’t so uppity about it.

  12. justme said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:03

    Can we lock these guys in a room with Amy Alkon to teach them some manners?

    Okay. Can we just lock these guys in a room with her and lose the key?

  13. tigrismus said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:04

    I think the U.S. taxpayer deserves to lose a trillion dollars over this thing for the way they have behaved.

    Holy crap, that is positively willful in its obliviousness.

  14. Anonymous said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:06

    Taxpaying ingrates! You should get down on your knees and thank God for AIG!

  15. ignatov said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:10

    Be nice, guys. If we piss them off they’ll go Galt, move to the desert and start repackaging derivatives, managing risk and issuing call options strictly for their own benefit. Then we’ll be sorry.

  16. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:11

    Lots of workers at GM and countless other businesses have had to take pay cuts this recession through no fault of their own.

    So did the AIG employees, if you read the article. The bonuses they just received were advances on future bonuses, which means in effect, the gave up last year’s bonuses but won’t see that pay cut until the end of this year.

  17. Esteev said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:12

    I couldn’t agree more, Brad. The worst part, I feel, is that not only are they taking bonuses from bailout cash but they also have no intention of allowing regulations to prevent another crash.

    Case in point: If you’re ever driving in NY you’ll notice that a lot of expensive cars enjoy sitting in the left lane doing barely the speed limit. One day, with my road rage particularly piqued, some Lexus was doing 45 in the left lane with the driver on the phone. I proceeded to get as close as possible to the rear bumper and flash my lights/honk — the usual. Did he move? Nope, instead I passed him in the middle lane and he took off behind me. I take my exit with Mr Important hot on my trail.

    At the stop light Mr Important pulls up next to me and is furious. I roll down my window and explain to him:

    “Shut it! This is not the board room or the green on the 9th hole, you mean nothing out here! Wake up, Pal, your Title and Car do not induce fear but rather disgust.”

    As he tried to lift is lower jaw back from its floored position, the light turned green and off I went.

    What I’m getting at is that with a little $, these people think that they can just do whatever they please. What they need is a beat down with a sock full of soap.

  18. stogoe said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:13

    I’m sorry, actor, that the industry in which these ratfucks chose to work is destroying America from the bottom up. But they’re on the public dole now, and we own their spoiled asses.

    Dance, monkey, dance!

  19. 59 Les Paul said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:13

    The idea that “the people who caused this are all gone” is some high-zoot horseshit. It’s like saying all the Detroit Lions who had a no-win season are gone. They’re not, they’re just playing for other NFL franchises. If any of these fucks had souls, we’d be reading daily about the horrific suicide rate on Wall Street, and our tax dollars would be paying two hundred bucks an hour for the survivors’ grief counseling. Christ on a chrome-plated Vespa, just relocate ‘em all to northern Wisconsin, dress ‘em in brown, and we’ll treat ‘em like part of the deer herd.

  20. FGFM said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:14

    I passed Rick Santelli (of CNBC/teabag rant fame) as he was taking a smoke break behind the Chicago Board of Trade Building yesterday and he was telling three middle-aged fan girls “New York, Washington, I must be doing something right if they hate me!” Mussolini probably felt the same way.

  21. PS said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:16

    Would it surprise you to learn, Brad, that many of the people who work in the brokerages rely on their bonuses to pay the rent?

    So they’re not bonuses, they’re part of a completely screwed-up compensation system that needs to be shredded and replaced. Admittedly, it’s not just the top, where unspeakable obscenity rules and the New York Times runs pity pieces about those who make ten to a hundred or even a thousand times the average family income. When reducing the ratio between top and bottom, I would certainly increase the bottom — but I’d cut the top a whole lot more.

    The people in the financial industry really do not seem to have learned that they have been overpaying each other for years. How do we teach them?

  22. Esteev said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:18

    AIG trader said,
    March 4, 2010 at 19:00

    ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME!

    Hahahaha! that is rich.

  23. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:19

    So they’re not bonuses, they’re part of a completely screwed-up compensation system that needs to be shredded and replaced.

    Possibly, but keep in mind that most of the large scale market collapses (that create huge losses in brokerage houses) happen in the third and fourth quarters of the year. It would be hard to pay out proportionate income over the first six months, then go to your employees hat in hand in September or October for some of that money back.

  24. glf said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:23

    Stop propping up AIG; let it die already.Tax money shouldn’t be used to enable bad business decisions.

  25. Brad said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:24

    It would be hard to pay out proportionate income over the first six months, then go to your employees hat in hand in September or October for some of that money back.

    I had to eat a 10% pay cut at my job. And my base salary is nowhere near what these guys are making. Sorry, but life just sucks sometimes. These guys should have to eat shit like the rest of us (indeed, since they’re the ones whose company we bailed out, they should have to eat MORE shit than the rest of us).

  26. Brad said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:26

    Stop propping up AIG; let it die already.Tax money shouldn’t be used to enable bad business decisions.

    If it were up to me I would. But they, Goldman had to cash in on their credit default swaps!

  27. Five said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:28

    Drinking beers with friends last night in the UES I spoke with a practicing banker. With barely contained glee he told me there will be another crash and he would be there to reap his share.

    My response: not if we don’t stop you assholes.

    You’re wrong on one point brad. There would be no problem finding work. The callous indifference to the epic devistation and human suffering caused by this activity is a shining star on the banker’s resume. Pride in it shines even brighter. This is not speculation, my banker friends explained it to me.

  28. tsam said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:28

    And for anybody to look beyond that, as the politics and the media are at the moment, is missing the point…

    Yes, it is the rest of who are “missing the point”. How could we have been so stupid?

    many of the people who work in the brokerages rely on their bonuses to pay the rent?

    The rest of us rely on a job the future prospect of work to do at our jobs to pay the rent. Much of the current unemployment is directly related to this collapse. These fucks aren’t even faking concern like Congress. They’re really saying “let them eat cake”. We all know the end of the story from which that famous quote came.

  29. justme said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:30

    He agreed that the manner in which some Washington officials had responded to the furor was despicable. “I think it’s distasteful. It’s unfair. It’s unjust. I agree with you, it’s not American. It is McCarthy-ite. . . . It will be viewed as a horribly dark period.”

    “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Pay me my obscene bonus, not from hard earned profit, but torn from the bosom of the Fed. Then shut up about it. Have you left no sense of decency?”

    Whattabunchafucknuggets

  30. Mark D said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:32

    Because in the end I don’t think that you guys possess any real skills that are useful outside of your own little bubble world basic human decency, sense of right or wrong, and concern for anything but your own, worthless-in-reality ego, you fucking piece of shit fuck.

    Tightened that a bit for ya …

  31. Brad said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:32

    @justme LOL no kidding. “Me not making my bonus after my company got bailed out” = the Darkest Chapter in American History.

  32. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:33

    I know this has been covered already, but really…how do these people add ANY value to society? ANY?

    Maybe that’s why they’re such fucking assholes. They know they’re useless gits and the only way they think they’ll ever feel fulfilled is by acquiring more wealth.

  33. PS said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:35

    Any business that cannot pay junior staff properly because it might make an unpredictable loss in the third or fourth quarter is gambling rather than doing productive work.

    Here’s to Eisenhower-era top marginal tax rates. Well, it’s either that or concrete overcoats and a nice swim, unless you prefer pitchforks or the guillotine.

  34. tsam said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:42

    Maybe that’s why they’re such fucking assholes. They know they’re useless gits and the only way they think they’ll ever feel fulfilled is by acquiring more wealth

    That’s one reason. Another is that we elevate them to bigshot status. We admire the Gordon Gekko types for some reason. We think people like Warren Buffett are better than us since they’re so “successful”. Enough ego stroking from the media, pop culture, rap artists, small businessmen, star-struck college kids, and soon you’re leaning over a balcony rail exclaiming “I’m a GOLDEN GOD!!” Same phenomenon.

    Somewhere along the line, investment capital turned into graft money. There is so much insider trading, price manipulation and short sightedness among these people that this was bound to happen eventually. Failure does not spur introspection with these people. They will die believing they are entitled.

  35. tigrismus said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:43

    Possibly, but keep in mind that most of the large scale market collapses (that create huge losses in brokerage houses) happen in the third and fourth quarters of the year. It would be hard to pay out proportionate income over the first six months, then go to your employees hat in hand in September or October for some of that money back.

    So they know markets crash, but they don’t take that into account and are too bashful to ask for over-payments to be returned so the only feasible solution is to pay year end FAIL bonuses out of a massive taxpayer bail out of their sorry assets?

  36. Ted the Slacker said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:45

    As much as this sort of trust-fund baby behavior episses me off, far more galling is the fact that we the taxpayers own 80% of this company and yet we were willing to retain these assclowns.

    Firstly, Wall St was shedding thousands of jobs at the time these maggots were complaining, so most of them would never have walked anyway. And secondly, so what if they did? There were thousands of unemployed CDO-bots who’d have happily stepped in to a vacancy.

    Hiring and firing is brutal at the best of times on Wall St, yet suddenly when there should be the most pressing need ever to cut costs, they turn all fucking Oprah on these cry-babies. I fucking loathe these AIG dickheads but our political establishment deserves as much derision for being giant pussies.

  37. Mark D said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:45

    We admire the Gordon Gekko types for some reason.

    My dad is convinced that the movie Greed is what caused our nation to go down the crapper.

    Probably because he saw countless co-workers celebrate screwing over others in order to make a buck, quoting the movie in the process, and just generally not getting the message.

    The worst part?

    Those assholes passed that mindset down to their kids.

    Hopefully, like most kids, they ignored their folks.

  38. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:45

    In a pyramid scheme it’s just and fair that the latecoming looters on the bottom of the pyramid get screwed.

    These are the luckiest assholes around and they’re bawling like babies.

  39. Pere Ubu said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:49

    They’re really saying “let them eat cake”. We all know the end of the story from which that famous quote came.

    Only for some reason (battered taxpayer syndrome?) we’re willing to forgo the guillotines and let these amoral shits run free.

  40. histrogeek said,

    March 4, 2010 at 20:00

    Nothing bespeaks of their shitty little sense of entitlement more than the idea that they can screw the ungrateful turds of the tax payers out of $1 trillion without being harmed personally. WTF do you think will happen to your bonus dickhead if your firm loses $1 trillion? WTF will happen to your job? For that matter do you live in some alternative world where that kind of cash can vanish in smoke without harming the borrower (that would be your country asshole)?

  41. Scott said,

    March 4, 2010 at 20:10

    For that matter do you live in some alternative world where that kind of cash can vanish in smoke without harming the borrower (that would be your country asshole)?

    They don’t care about the country. None of the Republican stooges do. If they could kill it off and make a nickel profit, they wouldn’t even hesitate.

    This country won’t start to recover until the banksters, the pundits, and the teapartiers swing from lampposts.

  42. tigrismus said,

    March 4, 2010 at 20:27

    This country won’t start to recover until the banksters, the pundits, and the teapartiers swing from lampposts.

    Shovel-ready stimulus project.

  43. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 20:28

    Shovel-ready stimulus project.

    *snort*

  44. John D. said,

    March 4, 2010 at 20:48

    “It would be hard to pay out proportionate income over the first six months, then go to your employees hat in hand in September or October for some of that money back.”

    Actor, I normally enjoy reading your contributions here, even when I don’t particularly agree with your opinions, but I cannot believe the sheer, shocking amount of stupidity you’re displaying on this issue. Christ on a cracker, these ratfuckers are fortunate they’re not being dragged out into the streets by enraged mobs to be the guests of honor at their own personal necktie parties.

  45. justme said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:15

    If they could kill it off and make a nickel profit, they wouldn’t even hesitate.

    IF?!?!

    WOULDN’T?!?!

  46. justme said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:15

    Shovel-ready stimulus project.

    Slathered in win.

  47. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:16

    Christ on a cracker, these ratfuckers are fortunate they’re not being dragged out into the streets by enraged mobs to be the guests of honor at their own personal necktie parties.

    I was referring only to the support staff, like secretaries and cleaning crews. The brokers ought to know better.

  48. not a gator said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:23

    I read that as “vacuum my nuts”.

    Given the typical content of most financial message boards, I would say they actually are experts in the fields of stripping, hustling, tea-bagging, and tranny porn.

  49. Chris said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:28

    Like I’ve said before…

    The leaders of big business today, like the aristocracy two hundred years ago, have a hugely inflated sense of their own worth; they believe that they, and they alone, are carrying the entire country on their backs, that they therefore deserve special privileges and treatment for it, and that they can get away with it because without them on top of the system, the entire country would collapse.

    Course, we already did without them for a generation or two (1932-1980) in which they were taxed into “poverty” (e.g. demoted from ruling class to upper class status) and it produced the greatest sustained economic boom in the country’s history. Sure would be nice if someone – say, hypothetically, like the Democrats – stood up and reminded them of it.

  50. not a gator said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:32

    There were a few suicides, but very few.

    The thing about the people who blew the place up being gone is just another lie. Actually, during the 2000′s, the financial brinksmanshippers pushed the prudent out of firm after firm. A few of the top dogs got pushed out, notably the African-American executive of Merrill, Stanley O’Neal. Last in, first out, as per usual.

    Whole divisions of AIG were devoted to “pretend insurance” ie these contracts that they sold with the understanding that if the “unthinkable” happened, they could never pay. GS was the counter party. GS had its fingers in the government, betting that they COULD get paid even though they KNEW they bought worthless paper.

    Of course, when the crash came they invented some bullshit for the Senate about how an AIG crash would hurt America’s “financial security” and cause the Chinese to win. In fact, GS would have just lost a lot of money (it wouldn’t have taken them out, though).

    Everybody on the street knew this because while people were taking out puts on every financial under the sun, nobody wanted to short Goldman Sachs.

  51. Nylund said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:32

    Wow. Reading that damn near got me in the car to go buy a pitchfork. And I’m an academic that studies econ and finance and is generally fairly sympathetic!

    I would actually be cool with paying them bonuses, only I’d stretch those bonuses out over the course of a decade making them contingent on factors in each year. In other words, give them the incentive to make things stable in the long-run rather than for short-term profits.

  52. Joe Max said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:34

    It would be hard to pay out proportionate income over the first six months, then go to your employees hat in hand in September or October for some of that money back.

    I had to eat a 10% pay cut at my job. And my base salary is nowhere near what these guys are making. Sorry, but life just sucks sometimes.

    Word. I had a 20% pay reduction forced on me, along with involuntary furloughs, and now my union’s on the verge of swallowing a screwed up contract (we’ve been working without a contract for over a year). And these Wall Street assholes gambled with my union’s pension fund (CalPERS) and lost a big chunk of it. So fuck them.

    Did I mention fuck them? I did? Oh, well fuck them. Again. Also.

  53. Tommy Deelite said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:43

    I was referring only to the support staff, like secretaries and cleaning crews. The brokers ought to know better.

    As per your earlier comment, a secretary earning 40K a year expects a 35K bonus so as to make ends meet. Its called a bonus, chum – are you telling me AIG set its benchmarks so low that these EOY bonuses are completely insured? Then why even bother with the pretense, and just give the secretary a 75K salary? Pardon me for not following AIG’s balance sheet this year, but at the very least I know they’ve not yet paid back the bailout monies. I would think at least making a sizeable dent in your taxpayer-funded deficit should be the minimum threshold to qualify anyone in that shithole for a bonus.

    I recall the bluster over limiting compensation for those who took TARP money – I remember thinking, ‘rather than setting compensation, why doesn’t the gov’t just set bonus benchmarks somewhere between realistic and lofty, preferably closer to the latter?’ That’s a (seemingly) less onerous method of exerting our control, and would have the added benefit of causing these dickbags to actually demand the salaries they feel they deserve without subterfuge, thereby showing their insatiable avarice more clearly to the public.

  54. Tina said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:48

    “I was referring only to the support staff, like secretaries and cleaning crews.”

    Okay, but that support staff should not be getting paid half their salary in bonuses in the first place. So the system still needs an overhaul. Expecting people to be paid half the normal going rate and take the risk that the company bonuses won’t make up the difference is a bad scheme.

  55. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:52

    As per your earlier comment, a secretary earning 40K a year expects a 35K bonus so as to make ends meet.

    When you get it, year in and year out, it’s less a bonus and more salary. If We go beyond that, then we’re going into the same territory that has right-wingers up in arms about unemployment or bankruptcy: you shudda seen it coming and did something about it.

  56. tigrismus said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:53

    The leaders of big business today, like the aristocracy two hundred years ago, have a hugely inflated sense of their own worth; they believe that they, and they alone, are carrying the entire country on their backs, that they therefore deserve special privileges and treatment for it, and that they can get away with it because without them on top of the system, the entire country would collapse.

    We’re not even talking about business leaders, who often can actually claim to provide benefit to the country in some way, we’re talking about professional gamblers who receive salaries and bonuses for dreaming up new and exciting ways to make foolish gambles with other people’s money.

  57. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 21:54

    Actually, during the 2000’s, the financial brinksmanshippers pushed the prudent out of firm after firm

    This is precisely what we need to focus on now that the woods are cleared. We gotta stop letting banks and brokers think they’re croupiers.

  58. John D. said,

    March 4, 2010 at 22:00

    You know what, gang?

    It occurs to me that our friends on the right don’t much care for the banksters any more than we do. The incoherence of their ‘arguments’ aside (“OHRBARHMA’S A SO-SHULL-UST!!!!”), they’re no happier with the Billionare’s Bailout than we (and, indeed, most people) are. It further occurs to me that America’s current day right are far less shy about resorting to violence than we femmy liberals and leftists are. One can’t help wondering, then, what the reaction of the “liberal media” and the “leaders” of both political parties would be if, say, some crazed Glen Beck fan decides to fly an airplane into the headquarters of AIG or Citibank.

    To say nothing of the reaction of the miserable cocksuckers quoted in the above Washington Post article, as well as the rest of their scumbag brethren. Me thinks we’d be seeing less of the preening smugness and unashamed attitudes of entitlement and more of the screamings along the lines of, “WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY WARN US ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING???!!?”

    The pre-Revolution French aristocrisy probably thought they were untouchable as well.

  59. tigrismus said,

    March 4, 2010 at 22:06

    “I was referring only to the support staff, like secretaries and cleaning crews.”

    According to Geithner’s letter to Congress, these were retention bonuses paid to executives.

  60. Lesley said,

    March 4, 2010 at 22:24

    Giving any of these bastards a bail out is akin ranks with giving a serial killer legal aid.

  61. Tommy Deelite said,

    March 4, 2010 at 22:58

    When you get it, year in and year out, it’s less a bonus and more salary. If We go beyond that, then we’re going into the same territory that has right-wingers up in arms about unemployment or bankruptcy: you shudda seen it coming and did something about it.

    Unemployment is a good that helps stimulate an economy by nurturing entrepeneurship. Feeling entitled to a bonus divorced from the performance of a company stifles motivation. Even divorced from the moral quandary of comparing subsistence level support to bonuses, there really is no way to defend your statement

  62. zombie rotten mcdonald said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:08

    fuck them and their bonuses. Look, I have my own business, and in good years, I take a fair amount of compensation in form of bonus at year’s end. In bad years, I don’t.

    But I don’t use that bonus as part of my base budget. It’s not expected. Neither should theirs. If they find themselves relying on it for basics like rent, they might move to a smaller place? I am sure that’s what they tell the people who were talked into mortgages they couldn’t afford.

  63. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:08

    Unemployment is a good that helps stimulate an economy by nurturing entrepeneurship.

    Very nicely played!

    *golf clap*

    Martini?

  64. Tommy Deelite said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:12

    I accept your apology, actor.

  65. robert green said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:19

    actor212: what’s REALLY REALLY wrong about your thinking is much more fundamental. here’s what it is–what is the appropriate EXPECTATION if you take a job at an insurance firm?

    i can answer that for you: it should be a decent salary with the possibility, if you toil for 20 plus years, of a nice sinecure. after all, all you are doing in being a middle-man who helps actual creative business types do things that are actually useful.

    that’s all the job is. it isn’t special. i chose to work (as did you) in a business that IS special–chances of making it as a producer or actor are incredibly slim, and if you do, chance are even slimmer of doing something that makes money. but if it does, we expect in our swing for the fences way to get paid. oilmen are the same. that’s the nature of the beast. that is NOT the nature of the insurance beast. senior management–six figures. that should be it.

    and to me that is what makes me sickest.

  66. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:20

    No apology offered, Tommy. You and everyone else is focused on the bankers. I am not. I do not condone those who should know better. I am saying that the support people deserve our consideration before we lump every stinking employee of a brokerage in with the minions of Satan.

  67. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:22

    what is the appropriate EXPECTATION if you take a job at an insurance firm?

    If an event occurs for twenty years, and you take a job somewhere along the way, it’s not an unreasonable expectation to have that what has happened for twenty years will continue.

    Particularly if every other firm in the industry follows custom.

    I’m not defending the people who should have known better or multimillion dollar bonuses. What I’m saying is that it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of that bad blood was from the support staff who really DO rely on those bonuses.

  68. tsam said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:23

    When you get it, year in and year out, it’s less a bonus and more salary. If We go beyond that, then we’re going into the same territory that has right-wingers up in arms about unemployment or bankruptcy: you shudda seen it coming and did something about it.

    And in the year that you don’t get it because …((boss pulling excuse out of his ass to cover the fact that it bought him a new swimming pool or country club membership))…of slumping sales, then what? Sounds like salary they can take away from you without cause, and without firing, while motivating you to try harder next year…

  69. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:27

    Golly. Sounds like those folks need a union.

  70. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:28

    Sounds like salary they can take away from you without cause, and without firing, while motivating you to try harder next year…

    That’s pretty much what I’m struggling with at my own job: when is enough enough? I’ve had my bonus cut two years running, with no expectation of an increase this year, and salaries were frozen three years ago.

    It makes planning a bit hard, because, you know, you have expectations and you can’t just plan year by year. Yet, the work goes on, and with little non-monetary compensation to offset the pain. I find myself borrowing to pay college tuition because I don’t think it’s fair to saddle my daughter with loans at her initiation into the work force.

    And I have it relatively easy. I’m looking at the staff around me working harder literally for less money, and making difficult choices, ones I don’t presume they will make perfectly.

  71. Tommy Deelite said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:36

    I am not. I do not condone those who should know better. I am saying that the support people deserve our consideration before we lump every stinking employee of a brokerage in with the minions of Satan.

    You keep saying that, actor, but, as tigrismus noted, the bonuses being paid were not to Wall St. hoi polloi, but to execs. I know your progressive bona fides on this site, and I really can’t figure out why you keep arguing this issue, especially in such a ‘won’t somebody think of the kids!’ manner. Even the secretaries and janitors are lucky to have jobs in this economy. Even if their bonuses were being eliminated, its not unhinged populism to note that they’d simply be facing similar circumstances as the workforce at large.

    When Gilbert Arenas brought guns to the Verizon Center, there was this absurd moment where some wondered how much he might be fined, when everyone else was thinking, ‘I’d be canned in an instant for bringing a firearm to my job.’ One didn’t have to have class resentment against athletes to make this point, and its not kneejerk to want all these finance folks, from top to bottom, to face the exact same uncertainty felt by the rest of the country.

  72. Mark D said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:37

    But I don’t use that bonus as part of my base budget.

    That’s because, while undead, you’re not clinically fucking Trigged.*

    And not to pile on here, but anyone at any level who treats a bonus as a normal part of his or her salary isn’t fit to run my kid’s piggy bank, let alone a finance company—or even the phones and filing of that company. And a simple viewing of Christmas Vacation can show why

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done admin work (it ain’t always easy) and I understand how the underlings at AIG and other places are getting hosed, even though they had absolutely no hand in any of the shenanigans. But so is the rest of America — not sure anyone at AIG should get some sort of special exception.

    (* Since I can’t use the other word — the one beginning with “r’” and “etarded” — I figured this could be the new PC version. Thoughts?)

  73. Mark D said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:42

    you have expectations and you can’t just plan year by year.

    Um … yes. Yes you can.

    You base your expectations on your base salary. Just like the vast, overwhelming majority of Americans do.

    Any bonus you get after that point is just that: a bonus.

    I see what you’re getting at, and think you have the right idea at heart, but you fail to understand is that a bonus isn’t an entitlement, nor is it part of your salary.

    It’s a BONUS.

    And if it wasn’t, they’d call it something else.

  74. tsam said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:43

    That’s pretty much what I’m struggling with at my own job: when is enough enough? I’ve had my bonus cut two years running, with no expectation of an increase this year, and salaries were frozen three years ago.

    I feel for you, and all those who work for a living and get treated this way. This was nothing but another scumbag ploy to squeeze more out of the American worker. We’re all well aware of the looming threat of being downsized or outsourced, and we’ve become so unjustifiably hostile to unions that the conditions are perfect for this sort of thing. You mix that with deliberately placing higher education out of reach to middle income families, and presto–you got yourself a third world country. We’re walking that line now.

    I’m lucky enough to not have to deal with it, I get a bonus that is a genuine bonus, and I get to check their math. I still struggle, year in and year out to pay the bills, despite doing the job of 3 people.

  75. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:50

    the bonuses being paid were not to Wall St. hoi polloi, but to execs.

    These were not the retention bonuses. I presumed you read the article. I apologize if you did not.

  76. tsam said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:50

    Golly. Sounds like those folks need a union.

    They do. I wish there were such thing as a union these days. They’ve managed to pretty much destroy unions, outside of certain job fields like Municipal/County workers, etc. Even the unions that still exist have been marginalized by public opinion (Teachers seem to be the current target of the union bashers). Extra special thanks to the right wingers and the media for that.

  77. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:51

    I see what you’re getting at, and think you have the right idea at heart, but you fail to understand is that a bonus isn’t an entitlement, nor is it part of your salary.

    Right.

    And taking out a mortgage is a stupid idea because you could get thrown out of work so why not just rent for the rest of your life?

    This argument is careening into pointlessness.

  78. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:51

    What I’m saying is that it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of that bad blood was from the support staff who really DO rely on those bonuses.

    I actually don’t disagree with you on this point, but a) that’s not the case here, and b) if that’s the problem, then the higher-ups should man the FUCK UP and take a pay cut to ensure that their support staff is paid properly. It makes no sense that someone whose performance has had no effect on the failure of the company should suffer because those in charge are fucking assholes.

    Also, you’re a good dad for paying for your daughter’s school. My dad used my college savings to pay for school to become a minister. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

  79. actor212 said,

    March 4, 2010 at 23:53

    I really can’t figure out why you keep arguing this issue, especially in such a ‘won’t somebody think of the kids!’ manner

    It’s interesting that everyone is focused on the “kids” part of my comments BUT PAYS NO FUCKING ATTENTION THE FACT I AGREED WITH BRAD!

    Jeeesus, are you people right wingers or what?????

  80. tigrismus said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:04

    These were not the retention bonuses. I presumed you read the article. I apologize if you did not.

    That’s not what the article says, and nowhere is there any implication any of these bonuses went to support staff.

  81. Mark D said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:05

    Jeeesus, are you people right wingers or what?????</blockquote?

    Nope.

    Just don't 't understand why you seem to think that someone is somehow entitled to a bonus. So much so that they should act as if it's a regular part of his or her salary when, in reality, almost no job outside of sports guarantees bonuses. It's based on performance.

    That was it.

    ::shrugs shoulders::

    I'll let it go …

  82. Tommy Deelite said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:06

    These were not the retention bonuses. I presumed you read the article. I apologize if you did not.

    Did you read it? Other than a passing mention of ‘corporate leaders,’ the staff left to ‘clean up the mess’ didn’t really appear to be speaking in the voice of the huddled masses you’re purportedly championing.

    Also, I accept your apology, as S,N! isn’t especially known for RTFA sentiment. It’s good to know you’re so forgiving. Its also good to know someone tangentially arguing on behalf of Pappa Gecko would attempt to use:

    Very nicely played!

    *golf clap*

    Martini?

    as effective snark. Guess I should apologize for your lack of self-awareness.

  83. Mark D said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:08

    BLOCKQUOTE TAG FAIL!!

    Sweet lord …

  84. Tommy Deelite said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:12

    I see what you’re getting at, and think you have the right idea at heart, but you fail to understand is that a bonus isn’t an entitlement, nor is it part of your salary.

    Right.

    And taking out a mortgage is a stupid idea because you could get thrown out of work so why not just rent for the rest of your life?

    This argument is careening into pointlessness.

    You’re steering it there with these ridiculous comparisons.

    Investing in a house isn’t always prudent. Starting your own business isn’t always prudent. Counting on a bonus as if its an inevitability is never prudent, or thoughtful, or a grown-up idea. Are we done?

  85. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:17

    actor — lots of people are suffering tremendously during this recession, particularly people who don’t have college educations. A bunch of incredibly rich people who work as traders and who have degrees from prestigious institutions are the least of my concerns. The fact that they have the unmitigated gall to whine about their lot in life when there are tens of millions of others in this country who are sacrificing vastly more than they ever will shows a dangerous lack of perspective and empathy.

  86. Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:23

    I agree with actor. A lot of my friends work at AIG and places like that, and they work really hard. They’re just kids from middle class backgrounds like me, and in NYC you can’t even really live for less than 80k a year. Don’t be so hard on these people who are, after all, providing a service that keeps America running. Don’t let resentment cause you to punish innocent people over at AIG.

  87. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:25

    in NYC you can’t even really live for less than 80k a year.

    Sure you can. You can live in Queens, Brooklyn, all sorts of places for less than 80k a year.

    Also, no one is forcing these guys to work at AIG. If they really hate not getting their bonuses… then quit!

  88. Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:29

    Also, no one is forcing these guys to work at AIG. If they really hate not getting their bonuses… then quit!

    What actor and I are saying is that they earned those bonuses though and you can’t let yourself be blinded by populist angst and just set out to punish everybody you arbitrarily decide is “rich and entitled” especially not when they’re barely making it in New York.

    This is why I’m so glad Obama doesn’t listen to the far left elements of his party more but keeps to the middle ground. But I’m getting a little worried even over that–recent profiles make it sound like Rahm is basically the only voice of reason we have left who is trying to keep Obama from going over the edge to self-annihilation.

  89. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:30

    A lot of my friends work at AIG and places like that, and they work really hard.

    Also, I loathe this construction. You think people at auto plants aren’t working hard? Or some guy tryng to feed his family by doing night shifts as a janitor? C’mon, this is absurd. A bunch of people are hurting right now. A pack of self-absorbed bonus babies are the least of our worries.

  90. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:31

    What actor and I are saying is that they earned those bonuses though

    Horseshit. Their company is a ward of the state. That changes the fucking equation considerably.

    Again — plenty of unions have had to renegotiate their contracts during this recession in order to keep their jobs. The people working at AIG are not unique and special in their economic “suffering.” They should be thankful they have jobs at all.

  91. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:35

    you arbitrarily decide is “rich and entitled”

    OMG.

    Let’s recap: These guys work for a company that would be bankrupt without the American taxpayer. Bank. Rupt. Nada dinero. Totally el broko.

    Most companies that go belly up aren’t fortunate enough to have the American taxpayer picking up the slack when they go under. Most of their workers aren’t fortunate enough to get paid on the taxpayer dime.

    So for these assholes to whine about not getting all the goodies they normally get — despite the fact that WITHOUT THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER THEY WOULD BE BEGGING FOR FOOD ON THE STREET — it’s just repulsive.

    I don’t even want to “punish” these guys! Lots of people would be happy to be “punished” making more than $80k a year! I just want them to have some goddamn perspective.

  92. Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:40

    I don’t even want to “punish” these guys! Lots of people would be happy to be “punished” making more than $80k a year! I just want them to have some goddamn perspective.

    What actor and I are saying is that it just seems like you don’t have any real idea what it takes to live a remotely respectable lifestyle in NYC. We’re talking about the real world here.

  93. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:42

    What actor and I are saying is that it just seems like you don’t have any real idea what it takes to live a remotely respectable lifestyle in NYC. We’re talking about the real world here.

    LMFAO.

    I live in Boston on a salary of $45,000 a year. No, I have no idea what it’s like to live in an expensive city on relatively small pay.

  94. Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:44

    I live in Boston on a salary of $45,000 a year. No, I have no idea what it’s like to live in an expensive city on relatively small pay.

    You’re comparing Boston to New York? Really?

    rofl

  95. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:45

    Should also point out that none of the $45,000 I make every year comes from corporate welfare or the treasury department. Also, the people I work for have never wrecked the economy.

  96. kc said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:49

    What actor and I are saying is that they earned those bonuses though

    I worked really hard and I earned a bonus. At least equal to my base salary, in my opinion.

    I wish the taxpayers would give me one.

  97. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:49

    You’re comparing Boston to New York? Really?

    Yes I am. Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. to live in. And I make vastly less money than your trader pals. And none of it comes from the Federal Reserve.

    So please, stop lecturing me on the “real world.” Your pals could easily find an affordable place in Queens if they wanted to. If all traders take this “poor poor pitiful me” attitude when there’s 10% unemployment (and 19% U6), then they’re even worse human beings than I’d ever imagined.

  98. tigrismus said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:49

    Don’t let resentment cause you to punish innocent people over at AIG…. you can’t let yourself be blinded by populist angst and just set out to punish everybody you arbitrarily decide is “rich and entitled”

    “To be honest with you, I really hope it blows up. I think the U.S. taxpayer deserves to lose a trillion dollars over this thing for the way they have behaved.”

  99. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:50

    @tigrismus — no kidding! But WE’RE the resentful ones!

  100. tigrismus said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:51

    My feelings in a nutshell

  101. TruculentandUnreliable said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:51

    Believe it or not, I have friends who live in New York who make $45,000 a year. They just have roommates and/or live in Queens. I’m glad I don’t have to do it, but it can be done.

    Not that I think that support staff should be given the short shrift because their bosses are assholes.

  102. kc said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:52

    OK, skimmed the article. It doesn’t appear that the employees quoted were secretaries and janitors. They are “employees at AIG’s Financial Products division — the very unit whose trading had hastened the insurance giant’s collapse.”

    Really, fuck’em.

  103. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:53

    Believe it or not, I have friends who live in New York who make $45,000 a year.

    But oh! I bet they live around dingy people! Who don’t go to the opera and talk in horribly unrefined accents!

  104. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:53

    @kc — “janitors at AIG” = the new “family farms ruined by the death tax.”

  105. kc said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:55

    “I will stand behind every action I have taken in this company from Day One,” one employee said, according to a newly obtained transcript of a conference call the division’s head held last March with some of his staff.

    No doubt the secretaries and janitors were in on that one . . .

  106. kc said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:59

    Damn, look at the comments on that WaPo article. Those people are more pissed than we are.

  107. John D. said,

    March 5, 2010 at 1:23

    “This is why I’m so glad Obama doesn’t listen to the far left elements of his party more but keeps to the middle ground. But I’m getting a little worried even over that–recent profiles make it sound like Rahm is basically the only voice of reason we have left who is trying to keep Obama from going over the edge to self-annihilation.”

    I’d say it’s safe to assume Esther is a parody troll by this point…except it really is hard to tell the difference these days. If she’s for real, then holy shit.

    Also, if she’s for real: Are you glad to have this one on your side, Actor?

  108. Brad said,

    March 5, 2010 at 1:24

    actor, just want to say I still love ya, man — thanks for being a good sport while I take the piss. But you’re really wrong on this one.

  109. Wall Street Wellfare Queen said,

    March 5, 2010 at 2:06

    c’mon, lay of teh aig traders they’re just bearly scrapping by in NYC. do u have any idea what it costs to maintain a porsche???? what do u want tehm to do show up to work in a toyota????????? this isn’t boston!1!!!!!!!1

  110. f said,

    March 5, 2010 at 3:22

    pro skateboarders are more important to society and produce a product of greater worth.

  111. Mark D said,

    March 5, 2010 at 3:39

    What actor and I are saying is that they earned those bonuses

    Um … we’re not talking about admin or maintenance staff here who, many times, do deserve bonuses, IMHO, regardless of where they work.

    And we’re not talking about some small business with a handful of now-unemployed employees that got fucked over because some asshole half a country away cooked the books and/or sold securities they knew damn well wasn’t worth more than a pile of kindergartner spit.

    We’re talking about a bunch of self-important fucktwits who are convinced the economy would collapse without their genius — and who have that attitude while working at a company that would be out of business without $180 BILLION IN TAXPAYER FUNDS. (Go look up how much the federal gov’t spends on education and transportation each year to get some perspective.)

    So while I truly do feel bad for the folks who worked there and honestly had no clue — and even understand that they can’t just up and quit in this economy — I’m having a hard time feeling sympathy for the assbags in the article in question.

    Also. Too. My whole point w/ actor was: Basing a budget on money you know may not come is just fiscally stupid. That’s not a judgment on whether or not someone deserves a bonus, or whether or not they’ve worked hard, or even on where they work. That’s just basic common sense.

    Or at least I thought it was.

  112. Mark D said,

    March 5, 2010 at 3:41

    Oh, and love ya, actor212. Every time I visit — and I mean every single fucking time — I read something you posted and laugh so hard I damn near cause internal hemmoraging.

    So nothing personal, dude. Just disagreeing on this point (and, hell, I may have even misunderstood totally; if so, my apologies).

    :-)

  113. Shell Goddamnit said,

    March 5, 2010 at 3:53

    Somewhere – it was a pretty good economics blogger, I think, can’t remember who – I read that one constant in a financial bubble is that the financial sector’s pay goes WAAAAAY up compared to the rest of the economy. As the bubble starts to heat up more & more smart & creative people go into the financial biz and they act all creative, and let me tell you, that appears to be A Very Bad Thing Indeed; and this causes an avaricious cycle where more & more people pile into finance and the finance part of the pie gets larger again and etc.

    Our problem (I think, what do I know, I’m support staff at a non-profit, I’m about as far from these guys as the moon) is that we’re letting the bubble heat up again already; and these fucks are panting to get back to full-time creativity.

  114. Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 6:00

    Fact: You don’t accomplish anything by deliberately alienating the money guys. I can’t believe that out of all the regular posters, only actor and I understand this. This basic knowledge is what separates Obama and Rahmbo from unsuccessful leftwingers like Kerry and Gore.

  115. Lolly said,

    March 5, 2010 at 7:15

    Good point. We’ve accomplished so much by making the money guys happy. If we just keep working on making them even happier, maybe the entire country can be completely bankrupt. Then will they be happy?

  116. Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 7:25

    Lolly: We now control the House and the Senate and the White House. I’m not sure how much more you want to “accomplish.”

  117. bjacques said,

    March 5, 2010 at 12:52

    Yeah,, god forbid we should use teh awesome power of a Lieberman and Blue Dog -sandbagged majority to alienate the money guys, even by accident.

    Salary is for maintaining your lifestyle. Bonuses are for upgrading it. You rely on the former to keep up with your car payments. If you’re lucky enough to get the latter, you trade up to a cooler car (or pay off some credit cards). If you get bonuses every year, then go skiing every year. If you’re paying off the car with your bonus, you’re screwed when the music stops.

    Pro Tip: When you’re in the wealthy minority, you get away with fucking up a lot, even when it results in other people get hurt. cf Tom & Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. But if anyone suspects you of fucking up the economy on purpose, especially in a tantrum, the earth will not shelter you.

  118. Energy traders from Enron who bragged on tape about "Having some fun" and causing blackouts in California said,

    March 5, 2010 at 13:58

    But if anyone suspects you of fucking up the economy on purpose, especially in a tantrum, the earth will not shelter you.

    HA HA HA HA HA ha. ha ha. ha. HA HA HA HA haha. HA. ha ha. HAHAHAHAHA. ha.

    Good one brah. Tell us another one about the efficacy of righteous populist raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage (and the attention span of angry Americans).

    HA HA HA HA HA. ha.

    Anyway listen, young black studmuffin 18 dimensional chess playing Urdu poetry reading supragenius or cranky old dude who openly supports a thousand years of war–we really don’t give a shit. Either way, we’re taken care of.

  119. Lisa said,

    March 5, 2010 at 16:25

    I worked as an executive secretary for many years for a prominent lobbyist. I got large bonuses a couple of times a year. Yes, I did expect them. HOWEVER: I never took out a fucking mortgage based on my bonuses. My mortgage, utilities, etc. were all things that could easily be paid out of my salary.

    My bonuses were gravy. I sometimes saved them, sometimes spent them on cruises, and sometimes spent them on outrageously ghetto hair extensions and trips to Vegas.

    And though I loved my bonuses and expected them, I never felt entitled to them. Lobby firms never lose money, but if their had been a tough year, I would have expected that I would not get my bonus. Bonus money is not tied ONLY to the fact that you are busting your ass. They are also tied to the financial health of the company as a whole. We saw our bonuses as rewards for busting our asses to make the ENTIRE FIRM more profitable.

    I am not sure how we are looking at bonuses anymore. Maybe I am old school. But what Actor, who seems like a nice guy, is saying is fucking crazy. You don’t just get bonuses because you showed up and worked really hard. You get bonuses because, collectively, your (and your colleagues’) hard work resulted in the firm being profitable.

  120. Lisa said,

    March 5, 2010 at 16:26

    Correction: “…but if there had been a tough year…”

  121. Woodrowfan said,

    March 5, 2010 at 16:57

    Would it surprise you to learn, Brad, that many of the people who work in the brokerages rely on their bonuses to pay the rent?

    For a secretary making $40,000 in New York City, that barely buys food! But that bonus at the end of the year, the $30K or $35K, makes all the difference between living in an apartment and being out on the street.

    then keep any bonuses for those making under a set amount, say $75,000 a year.

  122. John D. said,

    March 5, 2010 at 18:35

    “This basic knowledge is what separates Obama and Rahmbo from unsuccessful leftwingers like Kerry and Gore.”

    Leftwingers? Kerry and Gore?

    Ok, now I know Esther is a parody troll.

  123. whetstone said,

    March 5, 2010 at 21:42

    For a secretary making $40,000 in New York City, that barely buys food! But that bonus at the end of the year, the $30K or $35K, makes all the difference between living in an apartment and being out on the street.

    Wow! It’s really remarkable that everyone in the BIGGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY makes $70 a year minimum. Or that almost everyone in New York is homeless.

  124. Lesley said,

    March 5, 2010 at 21:44

    Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 0:23

    I agree with actor. A lot of my friends work at AIG and places like that, and they work really hard. They’re just kids from middle class backgrounds like me, and in NYC you can’t even really live for less than 80k a year. Don’t be so hard on these people who are, after all, providing a service that keeps America running. Don’t let resentment cause you to punish innocent people over at AIG.

    I detest this kind of misguided guilt trip. If anyone was “hard” on the lower rung workers it is the criminals who gambled all the money away, not pissed off taxpayers whose treasury is short billions because of a bail out that mostly benefited Wall Street criminals.

  125. Chris said,

    March 5, 2010 at 21:49

    “Fact: You don’t accomplish anything by deliberately alienating the money guys. I can’t believe that out of all the regular posters, only actor and I understand this.”

    Maybe actor and you are right about the bonuses in this particular case and maybe not.

    But speaking generally, it’s worth noting that twenty years of New Deal alienated “the money guys” like nobody’s business, and it didn’t ruin the country – the country moved on without them and was a better place for it, until they pretty much resigned themselves to accepting “merely” upper class instead of ruling class status. Something to keep in mind when people say “we need the elite.”

  126. Oregon Beer Snob said,

    March 6, 2010 at 0:46

    And taking out a mortgage is a stupid idea because you could get thrown out of work so why not just rent for the rest of your life?

    Uh, my mortgage is significantly less than rent would be. And I specifically bought a house that I could afford even if my wife or I lost a job or became disabled or something. ‘Cause, you know, that’s kind of what being a grown up is about…

    I usually think you’re awesome actor, but I really have no idea what’s going on with you on this one.

    Oh, and Esther — you’re not a “regular poster” you’re a troll. Proper terminology is critical to a well-ordered comment thread.

  127. bluesky2702 said,

    March 6, 2010 at 1:05

    Five said,

    March 4, 2010 at 19:28

    Drinking beers with friends last night in the UES I spoke with a practicing banker. With barely contained glee he told me there will be another crash and he would be there to reap his share.

    My response: not if we don’t stop you assholes.

    You’re wrong on one point brad. There would be no problem finding work. The callous indifference to the epic devistation and human suffering caused by this activity is a shining star on the banker’s resume. Pride in it shines even brighter. This is not speculation, my banker friends explained it to me.

    Ehhhhh…the ‘tude is reminiscent of Louis XIV’s finance minister, Foulon, who said of the peasants….”these swine, if they have no bread they’ll eat hay”. For that remark he ended up with his head being carried down the streets on the end of a pike with his mouth stuffed with grass….

  128. worn said,

    March 6, 2010 at 1:46

    I have to second (third? fourth? fifteenth?) other poster’s consternation with the position espoused by actor212 & Esther. I simply cannot wrap my head around the notion that these apocryphal, shat-upon support staffers are actually entitled to both their jobs and a given level of compensation without any acknowledgement of the meta-narrative of the current economy. It is certainly lamentable if they should have to suffer for the actions of their employer, but they (if these are real humans & not chimeras) are certainly not the only ones.

    Background: I am independently employed as an architect & architectural visualizer. And as such my livliehood is tied in an almost linear fashion to bank’s willingness to loan folks money.

    So I, like many others here, have seen my pay decrease radically as a direct result of the banking crisis. Except that my percentage drop is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% in the second quarter of 2009. I can certainly tell you that my gross pay last year was literally 1/3 of that two years prior. Quite honestly it is only because I am blessed with a concerned & generous father that I haven’t lost my house or been forced to declared bankruptcy. Though I am still frightened these things may come to pass. Looking at the edge of the abyss is a little sobering, truth be told.

    I know that I by far am not the only one in this situation. But it is also certainly undeniable that I played literally no part in the fiscal malfeasance that’s been the cause of so much recent suffering. Less moral culpability, I would argue, than the administrative staff of AIG, even if they didn’t have their fingers on the actual levers of power.

    Perhaps this goes a little way in explaining the cold response with which your sentiments have been received by many here. The underlying logic – i.e., they didn’t cause this mess and so they shouldn’t have to suffer – is fairly hard to stomach given that your expressed concerns don’t seem to extend past AIG’s front door.

    Unless perhaps it is only the folks outside the golden money bubble who need to be forced to eat baloney sandwiches & ramen?

  129. Sheesh said,

    March 6, 2010 at 4:14

    Re: “AIG JANITORS“, “janitors at AIG”, etc.

    This is how I know none you have ever had a real fucking job in America. There is no way AIG has janitors on their payroll (and paying them bonuses for cleaning the toilets of the masters of the universe? lol). Their HR dept isn’t going to deal with the overhead of hourly plebes. I’ll bet not even 5% of AIG’s nationwide HR staff is bilingual.

    No, no, no. They pay ABM or Jani-King or one or more of the countless other ‘facilities management’ companies to talk to the underclass for them and then studiously look away if they catch a glimpse of coveralls inside their regal lands.

    Rofl, janitor bonuses. Get fucking real. Oh wait, maybe in my rage I missed the joke. Being poor does that when you see The Man laughing about this kind of shit. “Ha ha ha ha, cleaning up my piss doesn’t pay what I make in a day.” Freedom!

  130. sukabi said,

    March 6, 2010 at 19:37

    send them to the Vatican, they can be put to use servicing the “holier than thou” crowd….

    that’s the only job I’d ever give them…. the two teams deserve each other.

  131. b said,

    March 7, 2010 at 18:20

    Not a word among the clueless here on the REAL issue: JAIL time and prison for embezzling the public and massive fraud.

    This was Enron times a thousand and this time, rewards all around courtesy of the sheeple who refuse to risk anything so instead they take to bitch blogging instead of trying to solve anything.

  132. borisg said,

    March 7, 2010 at 18:27

    I’m a big fan of China for its zero tolerance policy for economic terrorism. Its a capital offense. It should be everywhere.

  133. b said,

    March 7, 2010 at 18:29

    Esther said,

    March 5, 2010 at 6:00

    Fact: You don’t accomplish anything by deliberately alienating the money guys. I can’t believe that out of all the regular posters, only actor and I understand this.

    Hon- wake up and wise up. WE taxpayers are the money guys to the tune of a few trillion.

  134. yezbok said,

    March 7, 2010 at 18:33

    ANAGRAM:

    AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP INNATE MANAGERIAL CORRUPTION

  135. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 7, 2010 at 18:35

    the sheeple who refuse to risk anything so instead they take to bitch blogging

    I take it that b has gone out and arrested a banker.

    How’d that go?

  136. Falesteeni said,

    March 7, 2010 at 19:02

    Dude, Israhell ain’t done with us yet!

  137. OMG23 said,

    March 7, 2010 at 19:53

    Life is so lonely .i am a rich and handsome man. i am sin gle at the present .I need a woman who can love me back.So i uploaded my hot photos on W e a l t h y F l i r t i n g . c o m–* under the name ………of………KingMax………….It’s the largest and best club for seeking CEOs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, beauty queens, fitness models, and Hollywood celebs

  138. tigrismus said,

    March 7, 2010 at 20:12

    Female With Pitchfork seeking rich handsome banker-type for pointed financial discussions.

  139. patrick said,

    March 7, 2010 at 20:21

    Bankers aren’t evil. This is a straw man fallacy. (I’m not a banker, and i have been negatively impacted by the crisis)

  140. kyle said,

    March 7, 2010 at 20:22

    I work as a trader, and my base salary is 50k, however my monthly commission and bonuses amount to a fair bit. I get on average a monthly commission of 90k, and a year end bonus of close to 500k.

    First of all, my commissions are determined on how much i make the company, if i lose them money i don’t get shit.

    My bonus is also determined based on how much i can make them, how much someone else would pay to recruit me and other things like courses done throughout the year. A lot of these guys, have low base salaries but want their fair share, if they make a company a few million is it it not fair that they get a couple hundred thousand?

  141. boingo said,

    March 7, 2010 at 20:31

    Have you see the video on Youtube, about this gal who worked for Bank of America as a collections caller, but was fired because she was too lenient. Her boss told her, “The purpose of this company is to make money.”

    That’s news to BofA’s shareholders, and to the public that’s bailing out its sorry ass.

  142. sd said,

    March 7, 2010 at 20:32

    What the bankster’s deserve is a French Revolution styled “reign of terror”, as in, deploy the guillotines and off with their heads.

  143. tigrismus said,

    March 7, 2010 at 20:34

    Bankers aren’t evil. This is a straw man fallacy.

    Yes, yes it is.

    if they make a company a few million is it it not fair that they get a couple hundred thousand?

    And if they lose so much that millions of people lose their jobs, homes and savings, the global economy is damaged for years, and their own company is only saved from total ruin by massive government intervention, is it not fair they should still get them and bitch like whiny babies about the taxpayers who funded the bailout?

  144. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 7, 2010 at 21:07

    A lot of these guys, have low base salaries but want their fair share

    There is power in a union.

  145. Doug said,

    March 7, 2010 at 23:47

    Where’s Uncle Joe Stalin when we need him? He would know how to deal with these fucks. A few 9mm pistol rounds into the backs a few skulls and the rest would fall into line.

  146. Ken said,

    March 7, 2010 at 23:54

    Try this, monetize the debt, in other words, if country can create a bond (borrowed money from private banksters) it can create a dollar (interest free money that can pay the debt). The people that end up with all the money will stick out like a soar thumb. These people who have all the money will have to spend it, or starve. If they want to buy something you can produce make sure you charge them 1000% mark up compared to your hard working neighbor. Otherwise move in with these uber rich.
    Otherwise they will get what history always has in store for mass murders, death and infamy for the ages!

  147. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 8, 2010 at 0:02

    Where’s Uncle Joe Stalin when we need him?

    Yeah, what we on the left demand is a BRUTAL DICTATORSHIP! Swarthmore education grads take up arms!

  148. dawn said,

    March 8, 2010 at 0:13

    so sorry for the supporting players. . .
    but when you work for the devil
    (and you all knew. . .be honest)
    there is hell to pay.

  149. Justin said,

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10

    Invest in rope. ; )

  150. Paul said,

    March 8, 2010 at 2:07

    Damn right, Doug.

    I can’t believe this type of nonsense is being tolerated. America needs a purge, and if these guys don’t clean up their act we might end up seeing one.

  151. red said,

    March 8, 2010 at 2:16

    Just imagine that the first two panels show AIG employees/etc instead of computer folk.

    http://www.spaceavalanche.com/2009/11/16/technology-fail/

  152. stagename said,

    March 8, 2010 at 2:33

    If you are american and commenting on this post, quit complaining, grow some balls AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT FOR FUCKSAKE

    (e.g. call your senators, form protest groups to boycott AIG and whatever companies you want to, inform your neighbors and make intelligent investment in responsible companies, ….)

  153. anony mous said,

    March 8, 2010 at 5:23

    The only bubble is *your* bubble. I work in the finance industry in Manhattan and am well compensated because I busted my ass to get here. How many times have you worked for more than 80 hours in a week? Think about what that does to a person’s social life. 12+ hrs on weekdays, but only 10 on the weekend because well, it’s the weekend and we’re supposed to rest a bit. Study up on the collapse. Wall Street’s greed didn’t get us into the mess – banks were forced to lend to sub-prime borrowers because the *government* subsidized lending via fanny & freddie.

  154. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 8, 2010 at 5:27

    Wall Street’s greed didn’t get us into the mess

    Yes it did. You are dismissed, greedy bonehead.

  155. Mihail said,

    March 8, 2010 at 8:10

    The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world dominion by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.

    In this New World Order the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the resources of the state. Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands.”

    — Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx, ‘La Revue de Paris’, p.574, June 1, 1928

  156. The Real Deal said,

    March 8, 2010 at 19:18

    I love how all of you whiny “keeping up with the Jones’s” shit bags, blame only the government and the banks for the mess our country is in. Live within your means first, then you can blame others.

    P.S.
    I bet when they pass out a bonus at your jobs, all of you turn it down don’t you??? greedy fucks. And don’t bitch about what I just said either, because I know you won’t do a fucking thing about the situation except bitch about it here….where your words don’t mean shit and fall on deaf ears.

  157. Substance McGravitas said,

    March 8, 2010 at 19:20

    I love how all of you whiny “keeping up with the Jones’s” shit bags, blame only the government and the banks for the mess our country is in. Live within your means first, then you can blame others.

    I live within my means so I take great pleasure in blaming you personally for the latest economic catastrophe. Also your butt smells.

  158. The Real Deal said,

    March 8, 2010 at 19:21

    Oh yeah, and fuck you LAZY AMERICAN!!!!

    Put your words into action and you’ll gain my respect.

  159. The Real Deal said,

    March 8, 2010 at 19:23

    Substance, good for you and thank you fellow American. And yes, my butt does smell a little.

  160. Jamie said,

    March 8, 2010 at 21:02

    This is why you don’t negotiate with terrorists.

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