Saturday, April 4, 2009

If You Were Pissed About the AIG Bonuses...

then take a look at this -- Kucinich to probe $3.6 billion in Merrill Lynch bonuses.

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis (R) and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain

Also, here is a video of Kucinich discussing these bonuses on FoxNews.

The AIG bonuses totaled $165 million. That's a lot of money and people were justified in being upset about the very people that helped get us into this financial mess being rewarded for doing it. But is pales in the face of the $3.6 billion in Merrill Lynch bonuses. $3.6 billion is $3600 million. A much larger number than $165 million.

Almost 22 times larger!

The article says:
  • Following the federal government's promise of $10 billion in TARP funds to buoy the ailing firm through it's roll-up, Merrill paid out $3.6 billion in bonuses

  • [T]he Merrill Lynch Compensation Committee awarded these payments on December 8, 2008, before the end of the fourth quarter, in which Merrill lost more than $15 billion, and after Merrill was informed that it would be allocated $10 billion in TARP funds

  • Bank of America, which absorbed Merrill in 2008, received an additional $25 billion from the government to facilitate the merger

  • Sources tell ABC News that a non-public agreement between Merrill and Bank of America was signed September 15th, 2008. The two companies initially agreed that Merrill Lynch could award up to $5.8 billion in performance bonuses, an amount that was later reduced to "under $4 billion" following a conversation between Thain and Bank of America's Steele Alphin, the top aide and close confidant of the bank's CEO, Ken Lewis

  • These payments raise significant questions about what information Merrill Lynch and Bank of America executives shared with federal officials that oversaw the Merrill acquisition by Bank of America
Where is the outrage about this deal? It makes AIG look like pikers!

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