Merrill bonus babies got $121M

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, AM | Leave Comment

There is an article on New York Daily News website titled “Cuomo reveals 4 top Merrill Lynch execs grabbed big bucks just before government-financed takeover” by Greg B. Smith, published on Wednesday, February 11th 2009.

The article states that “Four of the top executives at Merrill Lynch pocketed $121 million in bonuses just before taxpayers helped finance a takeover of the failing firm.”

In all, Merrill doled out $3.6 billion in bonuses just days before Bank of America finalized its deal to buy the collapsing firm – with the help of $45 billion in taxpayer money.

One beneficiary was Peter Kraus, who started at Merrill in mid-September and quit Dec. 18, the day Bank of America took over.

He walked away with a $24.9 million bonus for those three months of work, which figures to about $249,000 a day. The day he quit, his wife closed on a $36 million luxury Park Ave. co-op, records show.

The 1975 graduate of New York University and 22-year veteran of Goldman Sachs was hired as Merrill’s executive vice president last May.

He didn’t start until the beginning of September, a week before the company agreed to sell itself for $50 billion to Bank of America.

A month later, on Oct. 22, Bank of America unveiled its new leadership team and announced that Kraus, 56, had “decided to leave the company after the merger to pursue other opportunities.”

His last day on the Merrill payroll was Dec. 18.

Moral of the story
There is no moral of the story. When things happen on an almost daily basis, that becomes a routine and we just stop asking questions.

I was born and raised in a third world country. Back there, politicians spend millions to get elected but they get billions in kickbacks and commissions when they get into power. No one has the right to ask questions, no one complains. That’s normal life.

The same is true here in the United States. But the big difference is, at least, in the States, the executive and legislative branches of the “government” have the right to complain. But the end result is the same in both countries.

I wonder whatever happened to that Congressional panel. They came, looked around, complained to the banks, complained to Congress, the Treasury Secretary complained, complaints, complaints, and more complaints. Then they went into obscurity.

Humans pocket the money. U.S., in some of its actions, is turning into a third world country.

What do you think?

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