In Focus: Hearing Highlights Bonus Bonanza

DATE: January 22, 2010

In Focus: Hearing Highlights Bonus Bonanza

Frank Zeros In On Out-of-Control Bonuses

Washington, DCAmericans for Financial Reform released the following statement about the House Financial Services Committee’s hearing on executive compensation today.

Maureen Thompson, Executive Director, “While we support the actions the U.S. House of Representatives have already taken on executive compensation, including shareholders’ “say on pay,” we agree with House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank that more must be done. The mind-boggling compensation numbers unveiled by the big banks this week – numbers that rival those of boom year 2007 – makes it abundantly clear that Wall Street believes nothing has changed.”

Gary Kalman, DC Director, U.S. PIRG: “Despite losing almost a $1 billion last year, Morgan Stanley paid its employees 62 cents of every dollar it made. They are not alone. The almost $150 billion banks have paid out so far in bonuses and pay for 2009 could solve the looming budget crisis for all 50 states. This skewed reality has got to come to an end, and it clearly won’t happen without action in Washington. Congress must hold the banks responsible for the greedy and reckless conduct that wrecked our economy and force the banks – kicking and screaming all the way – back into supporting the real economy, providing credit to businesses so they can create jobs. Last month, the House took action and we are heartened that Chairman Frank is now considering next steps.  Now it’s time for the Senate to focus on strengthening our financial system and preventing another financial crisis.”