Thursday, February 11, 2010

Obama Okay With Big Bonuses for JPMorgan and Goldman CEOs

In an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, President Obama said that “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system" and that he "doesn't 'begrudge' the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein." Isn't this the same president that last year decried the bonuses that AIG and other companies were handing out to their executives: "All across the country, there are people who work hard and meet their responsibilities every day, without the benefit of government bailouts or multimillion-dollar bonuses....All they ask is that everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, play by the same rules."

For a president trying to take on a populist tone, cozying up to Wall Street executives right now is just not good politics. True, they are an easy target but if these Wall Street fat cats continue to behave in egregiously greedy ways, then public scorn is well-deserved and should continue to heaped upon them.

1 comment:

msteven said...

For me, the hypocrisy vs. what he said during the campaign is more bothersome to me than the actual position. It's not a populist stand and I'll even go so far to say that he is wrong that the American public does not begrudge success - certainly not in the context of bonuses for executives in charge of an industry which received federal bailout money.

I do see that it is a tough line for him to walk. It's not exactly a stand that his base is supportive of. But on the bright side for him, the way politics is he can do or say no wrong while the enemy party can do/say no right. The content is the message is far less important than the political affiliation of the messenger.

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