January 29, 2009
News Topic of the Day: Wall Street Bonuses and Obama
The bonuses paid by companies that failed (or rather were in danger of failing and needed a rescue) have received a lot of attention recently, including from Obama today. Below are stories tied to this theme.
- Sheryl Gay Stolberg & Stephen Labaton, "Obama Calls Wall Street Bonuses 'Shameful'," New York Times, Jan. 29, 2009. And related New York Times hosted debate (worth reading).
- Michael D. Shear, "President Decries 'Shameful' Bonuses for Wall St. CEOs," Washington Post, Jan. 30, 2009.
- Ben White, "What Red Ink? Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses," New York Times, Jan. 28, 2009. Related graphic here.
- Maureen Dowd, "Wall Street's Socialist Jet-Setters," New York Times, Jan. 27, 2009.
Personally, I'm less convinced the problem is with the companies and not with the government. If somebody is given money without strings attached, I'm not sure how successful calls for responsibility will be absent meaningful limits on compensation (say a requirement that companies getting bailed out limit pay in a more meaningful way than what has happened so far as a condition of getting money). They do seem to be playing a game of chicken, basically daring the government to decide not to step in.
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