Bonuses Return as Political Issue
By Ben Pershing
Remember those innocent days of spring -- before the health-care reform debate heated up and Afghanistan deteriorated so much -- when the political world was preoccupied by executive bonuses on Wall Street?
That issue is back, but now with two twists: the economy has shown signs of recovery, and Wall Street firms are actually making a profit. With financial firms, most of which benefitted from a government bailout, planning to pay out billions of dollars in bonuses, top White House officials fanned out to the Sunday shows to get the message out that these companies need to show some restraint. David Axelrod called the bonuses "offensive" and Rahm Emanuel chastised the firms for fighting new regulations and said the bonuses were "frustrating." The Wall Street Journal notes that "the administration's tone appeared muted compared with attacks made earlier in this year, as Democrats -- with an eye toward the 2010 midterm elections -- seek to put a positive spin on recent economic developments." The Journal also points out that neither Axelrod nor Emanuel "suggested any new, concrete measures to clamp down on compensation packages."
Posted at 8:14 AM ET on Oct 19, 2009
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