NYT Article link:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/opinion/27krasne.html
MERRILL LYNCH lost $27 billion last year, and yet still managed to rush through $4 billion worth of year-end bonuses in the days before it was taken over by Bank of America.
Merrill Lynch is not the only irresponsible institution out there. Despite a year of record losses, despite all the taxpayer money being injected into our financial institutions, bonuses for 2008 were, in some cases, down less than 50 percent from those the previous year.
This is shocking, of course, but what’s been missed in these discussions is how completely the culture of executive compensation has permeated the financial industry. One need not even be an executive to receive a bonus far in excess of the yearly salary of people in most other professions.
Not that news that bonuses are down will be anything new to folks here, but his discussion of what this could mean for the new era of banking that's coming is instructive.