Wall Street’s top banks are set to pay their financial workers more than $70 billion in salary and bonuses this year—a tenth of the $700 billion in taxpayer money committed to the bailout—despite the huge drops in share price and cash shortages they are experiencing, the Guardian reports. Morgan Stanley, for example, will dole out $10.7 billion, which at one point last week was more than the bank’s market value.
One bank source said that while the payouts would seem high to a “normal person,” the bonuses are all performance-based. But critics say firms with shaky capital positions shouldn’t dump billions into bonus pools. The CEO and top traders at Germany’s Deutsche Bank, for example, are waving millions in payouts. “It may well be that by the end of the year the banks start to review the situation,” said one source.