Friday, January 30, 2009

A (Possibly Rhetorical) Question About Bonuses

President Obama yesterday scolded Wall Street bankers who received millions of dollars in bonuses last year, calling the payouts "shameful" and chiding the executives for a lack of personal responsibility at a precarious time for the nation's economy.

Now if I were a board of directors hiring a CEO, I'd think that the bonus criteria were spelled out in great detail in the employment contract. Is this the case? And if it is the case, are we really dealing with shamefulness, or are we dealing with equal parts of stupidity and of assumptions from a bygone era (aka six months ago)?

I have to say that the amount of red meat being tossed to the Left by Obama is verging on the excessive. (If we're going to hold Obama responsible for contents of the whimsically named "stimulus package", we're way, way past excessive, but I think this is probably more a rookie cat-herding deficiency than anything else.) Maybe that's just as well. The GOP seems to be remembering how much easier (and more constructive) it is to be an opposition minority. Every time Obama pours some more gasoline on the fire, the more the Republicans find their footing (and an increasingly alarmed fundraising base).

No comments: