Corporate socialism has now officially run amok. According to a report from the Associated Press, as much as $1.6 billion of the taxpayer funded $350 billion bank bailout fund has gone directly to top executives at America’s leading financial institutions.
Even at banks where compensation was reduced, executives still received millions in salary, bonuses and perks:
Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management, the AP review of federal securities documents found.
The total amount given to nearly 600 executives would cover bailout costs for many of the 116 banks that have so far accepted tax dollars to boost their bottom lines…
The average paid to each of the banks’ top executives was $2.6 million in salary, bonuses and benefits.
John Thain, CEO of Merrill-Lynch, took home $83 million of the $10 billion taxpayers gave his company. At Goldman Sachs, CEO Lloyd Blankfein pocketed nearly $54 million from his company’s $10 billion bailout. All totaled, Goldman Sach’s top five executives walked off with a total of $242 million from the public dole.
Capital One’s chairman, Richard D. Fairbank, received $1 million less this year than he expected, but still received $17 million from the $3.56 billion his company took.
San Francisco’s Wells Fargo Bank used part of its $25 billion in taxpayer money to make financial planners available to its top executives at $20,000 each.
The $350 billion is just half of the $700 billion allocated to bail out the banks, and George Bush has indicated he may release some or all of it before he leaves office. This underscores the fact that the $1.6 billion appropriated by the bank execs in 2008 represents only what they have pilfered so far.