Barney Frank, the House Financial Services Committee Chair and poster boy for the liquidity imbalance that is the "Dream of American Home Ownership," is shocked, shocked he tells you to discover that bank executives are being paid in here.
"Most of us sign on to do jobs, and we do them best we can," said Mr. Frank. "We're told that some of the most highly paid people in executive positions are different. They need extra money to be motivated!"
The shocking revelation:
An analysis compiled by The Associated Press has determined that the 116 banks that have thus far received taxpayer bailouts paid their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits in 2007...
The AP review of annual reports that the banks file with the Securities and Exchange Commission found that the average paid to each of the banks' top executives was $2.6 million in salary, bonuses and benefits.
These apparently "amount to a bribe to get them to do the jobs for which they are well paid in the first place."
We have a soft spot in our hearts for Barney Frank. Unfortunately, we can't find it today.
Mr. Frank, 2007 was characterized by record profits for most financial institutions. And Andrew Ross Sorkin, what kind of hatchet job do you have to be undertaking to use 12 month old figures to throw kerosene on the flames of class warfare? Did you hope readers might overlook the date? Absent any comparison figures these are useless in terms of expository journalism. Then there is the small matter of the banks that weren't given an option except to accept bailout funds.
I suppose a more interesting article might have compared likely compensation figures this year (since we have the names of several bank executives who have voluntarily waived bonuses) compared to last year's. Surely, it would have been a more accurate critique, and more socially effective, to wonder aloud what the compensation delta between the years might look like? And this, at least, would have given you the opportunity to show off the outstanding predictive and analytical ability of Dealbook, backed up, as it is, with the full faith and substantial resources and investigative journalistic backbone of The New York Times. Or maybe some of my assumptions are wrong?
Study Says Bailed-Out Executives Got $1.6 Billion [Dealbook]