It may have seemed like Bonus Buster Andrew Cuomo has been lying low, and it’s true — he has been spending a lot of time with a special lady who can do things you can’t even imagine with ordinary supermarket whipped cream. But he’s also been working. Over the past nine months, he and his team have sifted through reams of paperwork subpoenaed from credit-ratings agencies and regulators. They’ve pored over transcripts of interviews conducted with Wall Street executives in hot little rooms, and spent hours breaking down the compensation structures at the nine largest banks that received TARP assistance in order to determine who at each bank received how much, and whether it was justified given the company’s performance (often, they found, it was not). Then they distilled all of their knowledge into a massive report — a magnum opus, if you will — one that is at once comprehensive and yet so simple a child could not only read it but become enraged, for the overall takeaway is this:
Thus, when the banks did well, their employees were paid well. When the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well. And when the banks did very poorly, they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were still paid well.
Also, Cuomo added up that banks paid a combined $32.6 billion in bonuses while receiving a combined $175 billion in taxpayer funds.
He decided to call the report, “No Rhyme, No Reason: The ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’ Bank Bonus Culture.” Not so much because it summed up his findings, particularly (there is a reason Wall Street executives saw fit to pay themselves fat bonuses at the expense of everyone else — theirs is a culture in which entitlement and greed has become deeply ingrained), but because while he was putting the finishing touches on the report, Cuomo had this smooth jazz song in his head from over the weekend.
Cuomo Report Details Wall St. Bonuses [DealBook/NYT]