Axelrod: Bank Bonuses Are ‘Offensive’

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Oct 18, 2009 10:09am

In the wake of reports that Goldman Sachs is set to pay a record 23 billion in bonuses this year, the President’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod told me this morning that he thinks big banks dishing out bonuses to their employees is “offensive” and advises banks to “think through what they are doing.”

“The bonuses are offensive and to the firms that still have federal TARP money there’s some jurisdiction, the pay master of Treasury is working on trying to limit that,” Axelrod said. “You’ve seen a lot of firms go to stock rather than cash, so at least people have a stake in the success of their company and they’re not just walking away with cash-making short-term decisions.”

“They ought to think through what they are doing and they ought to understand that a year ago a lot of these institutions were teetering on the brink and the United States government and taxpayers came to their defense. They have responsibilities and they ought to meet those responsibilities.”

Watch our full exchange HERE.

- George Stephanopoulos

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