If you still manage to have a job on Wall Street, you might not realize that the good ol' days are over. Yesterday news broke that Wall Street bankers gave themselves $18.4 billion in bonuses last year — that's the same amount they received in 2004. President Obama angrily reacted, saying:
That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful, and part of what we’re going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility. The American people understand that we’ve got a big hole that we’ve got to dig ourselves out of, but they don’t like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they’re being asked to fill it up.
Obama continued by complaining that his office shouldn't have had to pressure CitiBank against buying a $50 million private jet, because "they should know better."
The big bonuses shouldn't come as a surprise. In October, Time reported that thanks to the government's help, bankers and traders wouldn't face dismal cuts in bonuses. Without help, they could have seen bonus compensation drop 70 percent.