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Wall Street continues to evade answers on TARP money and bonuses

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But to be fair to Wall Street (really) it is not as though the implementation of the TARP funds was very clear or effective. Throwing billions around without any conditions or accountability was bound to lead to this problem so we can thanks Lord Paulson once again. Wall Street remains insulated from the fury around the world, including US taxpayers, who are stuck paying for the Wall Street failure. Like other Americans, I have worked for companies that have gone bust and when that happens, there are no bonuses or anything else. It's over. Period.

Wall Street still thinks that because they were rescued, they are above taking a pay hit. Even a 50% cut, while significant, is still much more than most other Americans are seeing this year. Ask your average American if they'd like to "only" receive $100,000 or $200,000 for a bonus this year and see what they say. Then ask them how they feel about paying more taxes to fund those bonuses for the team that led everyone into this recession.

Banks that were rescued with billions of dollars in public funds have, in most cases, refused to provide specifics about how they have used or intend to use the money.

ABC News asked 16 of the banks that have received money from the Treasury Department's $700 billion Trouble Asset Relief Program the same two questions: How has your financial institution used the money, and how much has your financial institution allocated to bonuses and incentives this year?

Goldman Sachs reported Tuesday that it paid $10.93 billion in compensation for the year, which includes salaries and bonuses, payroll taxes and benefits. That is down 46 percent from a year ago. Goldman Sachs received $10 billion from the Treasury.

"Bonuses across Goldman Sachs will be down significantly this year," a bank representative told ABC News. The spokesman refused to disclose the size of the bonus pool or how much of the compensation fund of $10.93 billion was planned for bonuses.

"We do not break down the components of compensation; however, most of that number was not bonuses," he said. Goldman Sachs added, "TARP money is not being paid to employee compensation. It's been and will continue to be used to facilitate client activity in the capital markets."
Funny how similar the two numbers are. What a coincidence.

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