US President Barack Obama has, as expected, started to tone down his anti-Wall Street rhetoric. Speaking in a prime-time press conference Tuesday, Obama said that although the American people are understandably angry that taxpayers dollars may have been used to pay Wall Street bonuses, the country 'can't afford to demonize every investor or entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit'.
The Wall Street Journal reports that New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Monday that 15 of the largest 20 AIG Financial Products group retention bonus recipients have agreed to give back their $50m payouts in the wake of the public outrage over the payments, which total some $165m.
As the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose almost 500 Points Monday (6.8%), there's a slightly better mood in the markets.
The Wall Street Journal's 'Heard on the Street' column reports 'gallows humour' over at the Goldman Sachs trading floor on the 29th floor at 85 Broad St - the sound of the Soviet anthem was apparently heard across the floor last week, after traders heard that that 90% punitive bonus legislation had successfully passed through the House of Representatives.
Reuters reports that a group of bonus protesters went on a bus tour dubbed 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous' around the Connecticut homes of AIG executives Saturday.
The US House of Representatives has voted for legislation that will impose a 90% tax on any cash compensation over $250,0000, paid to bankers after 31st December last, at firms which have received more than $5bn in government bailout funds.
Here's a selection of your comments on the subject of US lawmakers' attempts to tax bonuses out of existence:
Lehman's creditors will no doubt be overjoyed to learn that the firm has now managed to recover thousands of so-called 'memorabilia' items which it seems where mistakenly transferred to Barclays, when the UK bank acquired Lehman's US businesses last September.
'The work we have all done to try to stabilize the financial system and to get this economy moving again would be significantly set back if we lose our talented people because Congress imposes a special tax on financial services employees'.
It's not just that $50m Falcon 7X business jet that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has pulled the plug on that will save the firm money - RBS appears to be getting rid the plant displays in its London offices too.