Politics

$39 billion: The Wall Street bonuses for the big five investment banks last year.

ABC News reports:

resp.gif In 2007, Wall Street’s five biggest firms — Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley — paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.

That’s $10 billion more than the $29 billion loan taxpayers are making to J.P. Morgan to save Bear Stearns.

Those 2007 bonuses were paid even though the shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about $74 billion in stock declines — their worst year since 2002.

These company executives are still fiercely fighting to protect their pay. Politico notes that the Bush Treasury Department is “resisting efforts” by House Democrats “to impose pay limits on Wall Street executives and bankers.”