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Banks prepare to hand out big bonuses

Jan. 10, 2010 at 12:31 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Resurgent U.S. banks preparing to hand out billions of dollars in bonuses are likely to draw harsh criticism, analysts say.

The haul for executives of such Wall Street institutions as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will rival those of the boom times before the financial meltdown, in some cases up to eight-figure sums. The totals are likely to stun Americans steel reeling from the collapse and the resulting Great Recession, The New York Times reported Sunday.

"There is nothing I've seen that gives me the slightest feeling that these people have learned anything from the crisis," John Reed, a founder of Citigroup, told the Times. "They just don't get it. They are off in a different world."

The five of the largest banks that received federal taxpayer bailouts -- Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley -- reserved a total of about $90 billion for bonuses and other compensation during the first nine months of 2009, the newspaper said.

"There are legitimate conflicts between the firm feeling like it is performing well and the public's prevailing view that the Street was bailed out," an unnamed JPMorgan executive told the Times.

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