After my last post about Wall Street bonuses, I found a copy of the December 8, 2008 letter from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to the Merrill Lynch board of directors. I think it sums of the the feeling of many of us very well. It is indicative of the Board's arrogance that they went ahead and paid the bonuses in spite of the objections raised by the Attorney General. If such bonuses were truly in the best interests of all the stakeholders in Merrill Lynch, including the taxpayers who bailed the firm out through the capital infusion into Bank of America, they should have made their case before the bonuses were paid.
Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, John Thain, then CEO of Merrill Lynch ended up relinquishing his claim on any incentive compensation as did four other senior managers. But it still begs the question about where the remaining $5 billion in bonuses went and whether they were truly in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Cuomo Letter to Merrill Lynch's Board