I’m not sure I can accurately articulate how I feel every time I hear about a banking executive’s huge bonus, or another company’s fancy retreat. Astonishment, certainly, and not a little bit of anger. I really can’t quite wrap my mind around the mentality of the people who must have approved those expenditures. It defies comprehension, at least for me.
To be fair, the government didn’t really stipulate how the banking industry had to use the money it received through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Plus, it’s true that some of the recipients were told that they were going to receive the stimulus; they didn’t ask for aid. On the other hand, the package wasn’t called the Gazillion-Dollar Bonus Program or the Woo-Hoo, Let’s Party Fund. It seems silly to suggest that the government should have had to instruct the banking industry not to reward itself for causing such a huge mess.
The government’s plan for the second half of the TARP funds is set to be announced this Tuesday. Among other items, it’s said to include a restriction on salaries/bonuses for company executives that receive part of the stimulus. Better late than never, I guess, but it’s galling that the banking industry needs to be treated like a kindergartner with their hand in the cookie jar.
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