Monday, March 23, 2009

$165M > $5B (Merrill Lynch,Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley brokers retention "awards") - guess it depends who's on the receiving end huh?

Incredible as it may seem - Congress and the entire business media would pull the wool over our eyes once again and have the US Taxpayer believe that $5 Billion is less than $165 Million.

Correcto-mundo. Wall St brokers RECEIVED over $5Billion in retention "awards" for what?
Try staying on the job, see blog post from Feb 16 & 22 at this daily planet.

HOWEVER - I say isn't it further IRONIC that:

  1. That the good AIG employees (Insurance part) get NO bonuses but much of the grief directed at their recently recognized and rewarded colleagues across the state line at AIG Financial Products Group.
  2. That AIG (the Insurance part) made a good decision to get out of insuring the brokerage firms’ customers for excess SIPC insurance in 2003 (see NY Times, Saturday, August 9, 2003 (not a typo) – yet their colleagues at FPG thought it was a good, make that a “terrific” idea, to underwrite same brokers’ credit default swaps.
  3. That $5B (not a typo) was “awarded” to the stock brokers last month at Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. (Oh yes, if the broker leaves he has to repay it – let’s see how many leave.) until then – thanks to the US Taxpayer for the coin!
  4. I wonder if, when or at all Mr Geithner was aware of this one????
  5. Almost forgot this tiny observation - both the AIG FPG and Brokers at Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley were paid these bonuses in cash not stock; wonder why? with stocks at all time lows it would appear an attractive entry point
  6. ROT (Return on TARP) - it appears that the brokers clearly enhanced their cash position compared to the less handsomely ROT-bonused industry counterparts at AIG.

    In the meantime April 15 is rapidly approaching and none too soon for the cash gushing out of the US Treasury. Better get those check books out soon fellow taxpayers.

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