The Audacity of Wall Street

Sure, Wall Street bankers can crunch numbers like no one else, but when will they get the hang of public relations? Due to high profits in the first quarter of this year, the employees at the nation's top banks can expect compensation similar to what they received before they started the economic crisis. Goldman Sachs' employees are looking forward to the fattest paychecks, as it has set aside "$569,220 per worker—almost as much as the pay in 2007, a record year," the New York Times reports. The banks insist that the generous compensation is needed to attract the best and brightest workers. Critics cite the obvious: The money could be used to pay back taxpayers or keep the struggling banks afloat. The bonuses used as incentives for employees also have been criticized for encouraging short term gains. "Like everything on Wall Street, they’re starting to sin again," one analyst told the Times.