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« Huge Day for Voters from Congress | Main | The Clinton Global Initiative »


Who Suffers Most? Not Those with the Bonuses

By Larry James
September 26, 2008

News that Lehman Brothers set aside about $2.5 billion for exit executive bonuses for the failed financial corporation isn't setting very well with much of anyone.

I expect that eliminating big bonus packages for executives won't solve the problems associated with the current capital markets meltdown. Still, these provisions for those at the top symbolize the failure of "free market" approaches to providing even handed, equitable community systems and institutions. Regulation is not a bad word.

Here's a taste of one report:

Financial crisis: Lehman Brothers staff’s $2.5 billion bonus bonanza provokes fury

Lehman Brothers’ British staff reacted with fury when told that colleagues at Lehman’s New York office were expected to share in a $2.5 billion bonus bonanza while they would be paid just until the end of the month.

The bonus, described by London staff as a "scandal", has been pledged by Barclays Capital, the British-based bank that last week acquired Lehman’s American operation and took on 10,000 staff, according to reports at the weekend.

A spokesman for the TUC said: "It looks like those that will suffer the most from the Lehman Brothers collapse are those at the bottom of the corporate chain while many of those at the top will be looked after."

[By Myra Butterworth, Financial crisis: Lehman Brothers staff’s $2.5 billion bonus bonanza provokes fury]

Clearly, the problems we face today in the financial markets can't be limited to just one or two bad apples, nor to one political party or the other. Plenty of blame and greed to go around here.

And again, those at the bottom will suffer most.


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