Bank CEOs Sidestep Big Bonus Complaints

Jan 14, 2010 8:51am

ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports: When they came before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the leaders of the nation's top banks were contrite about their role in the financial meltdown.  But when ABC News caught up with them after the hearing, they expressed no regret whatsoever for the big bonuses now going to bank executives. "We did eat our own cooking and we choked on it," Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack told the Commission. "It was an act of failure of colossal proportions," said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. "I blame the management team 100 percent and no else," said JP Morgan CEO James Dimon. But when approached ABC News after the hearing, the banking chiefs had no problem defending the multi-million dollar bonuses now going out to top executives at their banks. Watch the video here. Dimon of JP Morgan silently brushed by as I asked, "Does Wall Street get it?" Walking briskly down the hallway outside the hearing, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told me he saw "no disconnect" between the bonuses at BoA and the economic hardships no facing so many Americans. As Morgan Stanley Chief John Mack got in a taxi after the hearing, I asked him about the bonuses.  "Do you know what my bonus is?" retorted Mack, who has agreed to forgo his own bonus for three years in a row. "I know your bonus is nothing but what about other executives at your company?" I asked. "You have got to deal with them, or I will deal with them," he shot back. "Well, you are the Chairman.  You are the one giving the bonuses," I answered, prompting a laugh from Mack and a closing of the taxi door. 

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