Should the staff of the brokerage houses and investment banks to be getting bonuses when tens of thousands of Americans are being laid off? This is a rhetorical question to everyone except those who worked on Wall Street. This is the gang that couldn't shoot straight, and shot themselves in the foot, in the leg, and finally in the head, so that they lost hundreds of billions of dollars on ill-conceived investments.
The doling out of billions of dollars of bonuses was justified based on the assumption that if these firms didn't give their best staff wheelbarrows of hundred dollar bills, then the staff would have gone to other companies. What companies? Bear Stearns is no more. Lehman Brothers is gone. Merrill Lynch has been absorbed. The survivors are cutting staff by the tens of thousands. Ah, but those staff that remain must of necessity participate in the $18 billion robbery.
This gigantic robbery comes at a time when Bernard Maddoff made $50 billion disappear in the greatest Pinza scheme in the history of this country, if not the world. Many people and charities have seen their life savings disappear. But robbery is a way of life in the investment world these days. An unfair statement? Ask the people who lost the hundreds of billion dollars by investing in Wall Street.