US financial institutions are in bad trouble, and have received hundreds of billions of dollars in federal assistance. Yet they have the chutzpah to pay themselves over $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008, the same amount as in the boom year of 2004 and one of the highest totals ever.
All this for throwing the economy into a severe economic tailspin due to incompetence.
For perspective, let's look at something like bank robbery. FBI statistics show that in 2006 there were 7,272 bank robberies, with the total loot amounting to $0.072 billion.
To make the comparison easier, let's convert this to millions:
$18,400,000,000 in Wall St bonuses
$ 72,000,000 in bank robbery loot (of which $11,000,000 was recovered)
So what if the bankers worked hard in 2008? I've had several years when I worked my butt off, but due to company unprofitability I either received no bonus, or only a tiny one. That's the way it goes.