Saturday, January 31, 2009

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche! (Let them eat cake!)

Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses

Despite crippling losses, multibillion-dollar bailouts and the passing of some of the most prominent names in the business, employees at financial companies in New York, the now-diminished world capital of capital, collected an estimated$18.4 billion in bonuses for the year. (NY Times)

"Outrageous." President Obama

Outrageous Fortune
Owning and maintaining a house the size of the Taj Mahal is expensive. Kerry Delrose, director of interior design ... walked me through the cost of decorating a mansion appropriately. “Carpeting is very expensive,” he said, mentioning a $74,000 broadloom carpet he had ordered for a client’s bedroom. ... So far, the curtains for just one room have come in at $20,000 to $25,000. Let us assume that our hedge-fund manager has a dozen rooms requiring drapery with puddles and bell-shaped tassels and fringes; in that case he’s spending between $360,000 and $420,000 on curtains alone. ...Total cost: $420,000 to $560,000 for lighting. That doesn’t include the light switches. He added, “You can spend $200,000 on the lighting-control system.”
(Nina Munk, Vanity Fair)
The $18.4 billion in taxpayer funded bonuses is over twice the funding for mass transit in President Obama's stimulus package. Having leveraged the global economy right into the shitter, you'd think the Wall Street aristocracy would return the billions in bonuses earned by pawning our futures. As thousands of middle-class American families lose their homes and while our brave men and women continue to die in Dubya's endless war, we look for a sign from these Wall Street aristocrats that they're willing to share in the pain they've caused. Not bloody likely. Will it take the threat of tumbrils lumbering down Wall Street to reform these soulless bastards.

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." Winston Churchill


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