뉴욕타임즈 사설: 자기네 돈이 아닌데

Editorial: IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY
  조회:  8,391   등록 일자: January 27   카테고리: 
(요약) What is it with American bankers and their sense of entitlement? After losing billions, taking billions from taxpayers and avoiding disaster only by selling itself to Bank of America, Merrill Lynch was still ready to give a multimillion-dollar “performance” bonus to its chief executive, John Thain. It refrained only after a storm of protest that reached from Main Street to Capitol Hill. Mr. Thain stepped down on Thursday. But the problem is not one banker. The entire financial industry must be made to understand that the billions it has gotten from the public purse are not a reward for the havoc it wreaked on the financial system and the lives of so many Americans. 미국의 은행 운영자들은 자기네 몫으로 정부가 보장해 놓은 무엇이 있는 것처럼 착각하고 있는 듯하다. 수백억 달러의 손실을 내고, 납세자들 돈 수백억 달러를 받고, 스스로 ‘뱅크 오브 아메리카’에게 매수당한 연후에, 메릴 린치는 CEO 존 테인(John Thain)에게 수백만 달러의 “실적” 보너스를 지급할 용의를 가지고 있었다. 항의하는 함성이 ‘메인 스트리트’에서 의회까지 진동한 뒤에 비로소 그 보너스 지급은 중지되었다. 테인 씨는 22일 자리에서 물러났다. 그러나 문제는 어느 한 은행 간부에 한한 것이 아니다. 국고에서 금융업체들이 받은 돈은 금융기관들이 금융제도와 미국 시민들 다수의 인생에 끼친 파멸적인 타격에 대한 보상이 아니었음을 금융 산업 전체가 명심하도록 만들지 않으면 안 된다. + entitlement: (어느 집단의 소속원들에게) 정부가 보장한 혜택 + Main Street: 시민사회 일반. 금융가인 Wall Street와 대비시켜 사용되는 말, 원래 뜻은 대소 도시의 중심가이다. (ⓒ 2009 The New York Times) (ⓒ2009 usabriefing.net) (원문 텍스트) What is it with American bankers and their sense of entitlement? After losing billions, taking billions from taxpayers and avoiding disaster only by selling itself to Bank of America, Merrill Lynch was still ready to give a multimillion-dollar “performance” bonus to its chief executive, John Thain. It refrained only after a storm of protest that reached from Main Street to Capitol Hill. As it turns out, the outrage was not enough to stop the flow of money to other executives. According to a report in The Financial Times on Thursday, Merrill granted $3 billion to $4 billion in bonuses in December — part of a total compensation budget of $15 billion for the year that was just slightly less than that of 2007. The year-end bonuses were approved by Merrill’s compensation committee just days after shareholders approved the merger and days before Bank of America was made aware of Merrill’s stunning fourth-quarter losses. The news of the rushed bonuses almost prompted Bank of America to pull out of the deal and ultimately required the Treasury to provide an extra $20 billion, as well as a guarantee on billions more in potential losses. Mr. Thain stepped down on Thursday. But the problem is not one banker. The entire financial industry must be made to understand that the billions it has gotten from the public purse are not a reward for the havoc it wreaked on the financial system and the lives of so many Americans. The $700 billion federal rescue package was meant to shore up the banks’ balance sheets and revive moribund lending to consumers and corporations. But banks have mostly refused to increase lending. Some healthy banks have used government money to buy their more sickly brethren — which might raise their standing but does the economy little good. Many have been lavishing dividends on their shareholders. JPMorgan Chase has maintained its dividend despite plunging profits, squandering needed capital. Citigroup and Bank of America cut their dividends only when they got a second helping of rescue funds. Though the Obama administration has not set specific criteria for the next chapter of the bank rescue, President Obama insisted he would toughen the restrictions. Clear rules are needed to limit dividends and give the government the option to block mergers between banks receiving taxpayer funds. The vague rules on executive pay in the rescue legislation must also be tightened. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has proposed banning bonuses altogether for the top 25 executives of a bank that is getting money from the Treasury rescue package. The banking rescue package was meant to serve the American economy. It’s not the bankers’ money. January 23, 2009 (ⓒ 2009 The New York Times) (ⓒ2009 usabriefing.net)
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