(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

From Reuters today we read that bonuses paid out by banks exceeded total revenue.

What?! you say?.

Bonuses paid to executives at nine banks that received U.S. government bailout money in 2008 were greater than net income at some of the banks, the office of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.

How is that possible? Because there is a huge disconnect from reality from Wall Street/Washington DC and the rest of the freakin world.

Even in one of Wall Street’s worst years on record, at least 4,793 bankers and traders received more than $1 million in bonus payments, according to the report.

Since nine banks received a total of $125 billion last October in taxpayer money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help them survive the financial crisis, Cuomo has pressed them for details on billions of dollars paid to executives amid huge losses.

He notes that Citi distributed $5.33 billion while Merrill paid out $3.6 billion in bonuses. Those two firms lost a combined $54 billion last year, and required government bailouts totaling $55 billion.

Wells Fargo & Co paid bonuses of $977,500, while losing $42.93 billion according to the report.

Some might say “Yes, but the banks paid back the TARP Funds”…

Outside of the obvious, one of the problems was TARP is not the only program giving U$D enemas to big Wall Street firms. These monoliths were feeding from the public trough in more

opaque ways.

AIG would be the first to come to mind, but I’m sure others could add to the list of counterparties.

“Thus, when the banks did well, their employees were paid well. When the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well. And when the banks did very poorly, they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were still paid well.

Another case of Heads I win, tails you lose.