Big Banks Defend Bonus Payouts

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In Washington, top bank executives are defending their bonus and compensation practices today in front of a special commission investigating the 2008 financial collapse.

The Associated Press reports that Phil Angelides, the head of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission who is running the investigation,  said risky financial actions have led to devastating consequences for American families, and that Americans have a right to be angry.

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., told the panel that most of his employees took "significant cuts in compensation" in 2008. Dimon said his bank would continue to pay employees in a "responsible and disciplined manner" to attract and keep the best talent.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman-CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack and Bank of America Corp. CEO-President Brian Moynihan were also all at the panel hearings.

Moynihan, of Bank of America, said compensation levels will be higher next year than they were in 2008, but not at levels before the financial meltdown.

"We understand the anger felt by many citizens," he said. "We are grateful for the taxpayer assistance we have received."

tisan panel grills Wall Street CEOs


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Bipartisan panel grills Wall Street CEOs

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top bank executives defended their bonus and compensation practices to a special commission investigating the 2008 financial collapse Wednesday, but the head of the panel asserted that risky financial actions led to devastating consequences for American families.

Phil Angelides, chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, told the CEOs of top U.S. banks that Americans are angry and "they have a right to be."

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., told the panel that most of his employees took "significant cuts in compensation" in 2008.

He said his bank would continue to pay employees in a "responsible and disciplined manner" to attract and keep the best talent.

He was joined by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman-CEO Lloyd Blankfein, CEO James Dimon, Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack and Bank of American Corp. CEO-President Brian Moynihan.

The panel is holding hearings at a time of rising public fury over bankers and bailouts.

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