$9 million in stock options as a 2009 bonus for Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is now considered a big concession from Wall Street. Before we all start applauding, let's take another look at what's really happening on Wall Street.
Despite the high intrigue of Washington politics and the grass roots displeasure across the nation, it remained business as usual for the big four banks as far as Main Street's deposits were concerned.
Ordinarily, I don't care how much members of the brass make. Success is a beautiful thing, right? But with this round of Wall St. bonuses, the companies would not be standing without taxpayer-funded rescues.
Big banks have constricted lending, making small banks the key to restoring the flow of credit. But their capacity to do so during a recession hinges on whether the Senate reauthorizes a key loan-guarantee program.
The CEO of the average company in the S&P Index makes $10.5 million. That means that on the first workday of the year, he (sometimes she) has made more than the minimum wage workers in his company will make all year.
We should give strong consideration to nationalizing the largest banks in order to run them like public utilities. We also should consider placing banking employees into the civil service system to end the ridiculous wage distortions.
The heads of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America came to testify and said... just about nothing. Yes, they made mistakes. But gee, they had learned a great deal and they certainly didn't cause the crash.