News / USA

US Financial Firms' Top Executive Bonuses Up 17 Percent in 2009

US Financial Firms' Top Executive Bonuses Up 17 Percent in 2009
US Financial Firms' Top Executive Bonuses Up 17 Percent in 2009
Larry Freund

Bonus payments paid to top executives at U.S. financial firms jumped 17 percent in 2009, according to a leading official in New York States.

The annual bonus payments at Wall Street security firms were up 17 percent, to more than $20 billion, in 2009. That was the same year that the federal government provided billions of dollars to help the financial firms that were on the verge of collapse.  Also, 2009 profits at the largest financial firms could surpass $55 billion. The previous year, 2008, the broker-dealers lost a record $42.6 billion.

These new figures come from Thomas DiNapoli, the Comptroller of New York State and a senior elected official in the state. He says Wall Street is vital to the economy of New York State - where many of the firms are headquartered - but for most Americans, these huge bonuses are a bitter pill and hard to comprehend. There's a lot of resentment, Mr. DiNapoli adds, against the industry over its role in the global economic meltdown.

"In 2008, while the industry saw record losses, Wall Street still paid out about $17.4 billion in bonuses and people expressed a lot of concern and outrage at that," he said. "Excessive risk-taking with other people's money had quite an impact on our global economy. We saw what happened with credit being frozen and unemployment soaring, too many Americans watching their savings vanish at a time when Wall Street still seemed to be paying out bonuses."

The New York State official wants to link compensation in the financial industry to long-term sustainable profits. He is also calling for government regulations to make sure the securities industry thrives without driving everyone else out on what he calls a fragile economic limb.

President Barack Obama has in the past criticized the large Wall Street bonuses as the height of irresponsibility, but more recently said he did not begrudge the bonuses paid at two large banking firms.

Joe Sorrentino, an executive compensation specialist, says the bonuses paid in 2009 are in line with what he was expecting in terms of the record profits. If there had not been as much of a public controversy about the bonuses, he adds, they would have been even higher. He believes that if the Wall Street executives are not paid a fair bonus, they can leave their firms and take their business with them.

New York State Comptroller DiNapoli, commenting on what he calls Wall Street's unprecedented recovery, says the input of taxpayer money had a big part to do with the return to profitability.

"Certainly while one year does not indicate a trend, there is hope, when you look at some of the different ways in which some of the firms are structuring compensation that Wall Street has gotten the message, that it is important to tie compensation to long term sustainable profits," he said.

DiNapoli says he looks forward to a profitable Wall Street in a way that will improve the economic well-being of all New Yorkers.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid