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Why is there no major backlash at ~$350 billion in taxpayer money being corruptly distributed to the nation's wealthy?

Merrill’s Thain Said to Pay $1.2 Million to Decorator in Dec 2008 (Update1)

Merrill Lynch gives out $4 billion in bonuses in Dec 2008

Courtesy of TPM:

  • - 9/14/08: Bank of America buys Merrill. Over the previous four quarters, Merrill had posted losses of more than $17 billion.
  • - 10/14/08: Bank of America gets $25 billion in bailout funds, largely in order to help it take on Merrill's losses.
  • - Fall 08: A proposal is made to Merrill's compensation committee that Thain receive a $10 million bonus.
  • - 12/05/08 - Merrill and Bank of America shareholders vote to approve the takeover.
  • - 12/08/08 - Merrill's compensation committee declines to approve the proposal on Thain's bonus, but nonetheless approves payouts to staff totaling $3-4 billion.
  • - Days later: Bank of America learns that Merrill's fourth-quarter losses were greater than expected. B of A begins lobbying the federal government for more TARP money to ease the takeover.
  • - 12/29/08 - Merrill pays bonuses paid ($4 billion), at least a month ahead of the usual schedule.
  • - 1/16/09 Treasury says it will give Bank of America another $20 billion in TARP money, to help it absorb the larger-than-expected Merrill losses.
  • - 1/16/09: Merrill reports a $15.3 billion fourth quarter loss.

And from NYDailynews:

The decorating expenditures included: $87,784 for an area rug; $68,179 for a 19th century credenza; $35,115 for a commode on legs; $28,091 for curtains; $25,713 for a mahogany pedestal table; $18,468, for a George IV chair, $2,741 for six wall sconces.

And from FinancialTimes:

The bulk of $15bn in compensation was paid out as salary and benefits throughout the course of the year. A person familiar with the matter estimated that about $3bn to $4bn was paid out in bonuses in December.

These people looted the government for upwards of $3-4 billion. I've got some questions:

  • Why is Obama or any NY official not attempting to at least punish these people in some way?
  • Are we just supposed to let it go? Why was there no oversight?
  • Why is John Thain, former CEO of Merrill Lynch, who is credited as the main culprit in all this looting, still chilling out at his multi-million dollar mansion?
  • Why at the very minimum, is John Thain not subject to greater scrutiny among the media?
  • Why is there not major backlash among the American public at this?
  • Why is there no big oversight panel for all this money?
  • Why is no one holding Barney Frank accountable? He said back in October that there would be full transparency, and then in November, after the fact, he states that transparency can't be had because it would "disturb the market".

These guys get away with stealing billions of dollars from the U.S. federal government while people are put in jail for microscopic things in comparison.

Originally posted to JohnAdams999 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 10:02 AM PST.

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