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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bonus Round

By Keith R. Schmitz

For $350 billion dollars contestants, Congressman Barney Franks asks the titans of the financial world, "What is it you'd do differently if you didn't get a bonus?"

What a stumper.

Morgan Stanley's John Mack is the only one brave enough to hazard an answer. But all he offered was a brief historical digression about how the bonus system became established at investment banks.

Buzzzzz! Wrong answer.

Quizmaster Franks concludes -- "So if there were no bonuses, we'd still get our money's worth."

Actually did they even give us our money's worth?

One of the most laughable charges we liberals get when questioning outrageous CEO salaries compensation is that we are afflicted with jealousy.

No, just pragmatic. Equal laughable is the belief on the part of many on the right that minuscule taxation is necessary because someday they might possibly be pulling down these princely sums.

Is that kind of like suicide bombers believing they will be greeted in heaven by 72 virgins?

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