Imagine you have a corporation that's hemorrhaging money. Shareholder's money, clients money, and money to pay employees and suppliers. What would you do if someone came along with some emergency moolah to save your business?
You'd be tempted to take it.
But if your business lost billions, you laid off thousands of employees, and you received roughly as much money in bailouts from the government, would you still pay employees hefty bonuses? Would you pay 'em billions and billions in bonuses?
You would? Then you must be working at Wall Street firms like Citigroup and Merrill Lynch.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's report on Wall Street bonuses reveals that:
"Together [Citigroup and Merrill Lynch] lost $54 billion, paid out nearly $9 billion in bonuses and then received TARP bailouts totalling $54 billion."
Three other Wall Street firms -- Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan Chase -- paid out bonuses for 2008 that "were substantially greater than the banks' net income," according to Cuomo.
Taxpayer dollars hard at work, or hardly working? You be the judge.
Here is N.Y. Attorney General Cuomo's report on executive bonus payouts by Wall Street firms and banks that fired thousands and obtained billions in TARP bailouts from the federal government.