There is absolutely no way to reconcile these two facts from an article in today’s New York Times:
Merrill Lynch paid out bonuses of more than $1 million apiece to 696 people last year, according to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.
Merrill lost money all year long, largely because of its bad mortgage investments.
So the company lost money all year long, but thought it appropriate to reward almost 700 of its employees with an astounding amount of money. A million dollars! On top of their already hefty salaries. Or, as Dictionary.com says:
bonus: a sum of money granted or given to an employee, a returned soldier, etc., in addition to regular pay, usually in appreciation for work done, length of service, accumulated favors, etc.
Appreciation for work done? As in “Heckuva job, bankers!” ?
I know that the line generally given for paying certain positions an outrageous salary is that it is the only way to attract and retain the best of the best.
Oh. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
If these guys are the best of the best, I am definitely keeping my money under the mattress from now on ….
(photo from AFP)