Stop Abusing the Bailout, Jerks!


money3Aw boo hoo, rich people.

Today, Obama announced that he’s capping the pay of executives from companies that received bailout funds at $500,000 a year — 18 times what the average American makes.

This will be an enormous paycut for some folks; Kenneth Lewis of Bank of America nabbed  $20 million in 2007, Richard Wagoner of General Motors got $14.4 million the same year.

“We all need to take responsibility,” said Obama. “This includes executives at major financial firms who turned to the American people, hat in hand, when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves their customary lavish bonuses… That’s shameful.”

Giving execs huge paychecks is only one brand of bailout misuse. 

Below, the worst offenders in the hall of shame:

Bank of America
Most Recent Layoffs: 30,000 on Dec. 12
Bailout Money Received: $45 billion
Jerk Move: Hosting the “NFL Experience” a 850,000 square foot game room outside the Super Bowl wrapped in Bank of America’s logo.
Cost of Jerk Move: An estimated $10 million—the tents alone cost $800,000

Morgan Stanley
Recent Layoffs: 5000 in 2008
Bailout Money Received: $10 billion
Jerk Move: Setting aside more than half of their bailout money for bonuses; holding a 3-day conference at the Breakers, a 5-star lavish resort in Palm Beach
Cost of Jerk Move: $6. 4 billion for 2008 bonuses; clients paid their own travel costs to the conference, but the hotel rooms cost Morgan Stanley $800 per person

PNC Financial Services
Recent layoffs: Planning to shed 5,800 jobs in 2009
Bailout Money Received: $7.7 billion
Jerk Move: Using the money to buy its rival, National City Corp.
Cost of Jerk Move: $5.2 billion in stock and $384 million in cash. In other words, almost all of their bailout money 

AIG Insurance
Recent layoffs: Minimal so far—only its investments division has announced layoffs 
Bailout Money Received: $152 billion
Jerk Move: Just days after receiving their bailout pledge, execs went on a trip to the St. Regis resort and spa in Los Angeles.
Cost of Jerk Move: $440,000—$23,000 of it just in spa treatments 

Recent layoffs: Will be cutting a whopping 50,000 jobs
Bailout Money Received: $50 billion
Jerk Move: After it leaked to the press that they were buying a $50 million luxury jet, Citigroup canceled the purchase. But they’re holding to their guns on paying to have the Mets new baseball arena called “Citi Field.” 
Cost of jerk move: $400 million


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