President Obama reacted strongly yesterday to a report from the New York State Comptroller's office that revealed that, while overall bonuses were down, executives had taken home a startling $18 billion in bonuses, even as their companies were laying people off and their CEOs were accepting TARP money from the government. At a conference, Obama called the situation “shameful” and reiterated his administration's intention to get Wall Street to show "some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility.” Then he announced he planned to release the attack dogs.
"There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses," Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. 'Now's not that time. And that's a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them."
We're sorry, because obviously Obama's head is pretty much in the right place here, but isn't this exactly the kind of situation that's going to be really awkward for the former New York Fed president — who just the other day tapped a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist to be his chief of staff? Plus, look at that face. It's like making a former gang member a hall monitor and sending him out to tell his pals that the weed they're smoking in the boy's bathroom is killing their brain cells. 'Hey, guys, you know, it would be really cool if you curbed your spending and acted, you know, responsible and shit." You know what's coming to him: Swirlies.
Obama Calls Wall Street Bonuses ‘Shameful’ [NYT]