As the year begins to wind down, it is fair to say that it has been a tough year for many Americans.
Unemployment is close to 10%, foreclosures have not abated, and there doesn’t seem to be any real recovery.
And then, this week there was this report “Wall Street On Track To Award Record Pay” in the Wall Street Journal. It states that: “Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year – a record high that shows compensation is rebounding despite regulatory scrutiny of Wall Street’s pay culture.
“Workers at 23 top investment banks, hedge funds, asset managers and stock and commodities exchanges can expect to earn even more than they did the peak year of 2007, according to an analysis of securities filings for the first half of 2009 and revenue estimates through year-end by The Wall Street Journal.”
This come months after many banks and financial firms took taxpayer-funded bailout money to survive.
It’s no wonder that the average person reacts to this report with puzzlement, anger and disgust. MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan and filmmaker Michael Moore appeared on the Today Show on October 15 to talk about this huge disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. Their explanations are excellent in helping one understand the situation. Watch the clip below.
Moore echoes the feelings of most people on these compensations: “They burned down our economy. They completely crashed it. And now they’re getting rewarded for it… It’s absolutely insane that we allow this to happen, but not surprising because that’s our capitalist system.”
And we often see the bankers and the financiers explain on TV that they have to pay top salaries and bonuses in order to retain the best employees. Once again, Moore brilliantly articulates the average citizen’s response to this bizarre explanation: “Let’s pay the best people, who helped to wreck and ruin our economy… This is absolutely crazy logic.”