Business as Usual

Return of the Giant Bonus

You'd think there wasn't a recession going on. The Washington Post reports that Wall Street's six biggest banks have reserved a combined $74 billion, up from $60 billion last year, to pay executives and other employees mere months after the government bailed them out with taxpayer dollars. Goldman Sachs set aside $6.6 billion as it announced record profits; Morgan Stanley set aside $6 billion despite three straight quarterly losses. The public kerfuffle over large bonuses had led top financial leaders to promise reform, namely, tying pay to long-term financial performance and not risky short-term decisions such as those that contributed to the meltdown.