The financial crisis and government bailouts did little to change Wall Street’s executive compensation habits, New York's attorney general says. All nine banks given assistance by TARP paid out bonuses in 2008—well before any paid back government loans, according to a survey ordered by Andrew Cuomo. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase actually paid more in bonuses than the firms made for the year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The report, "No Rhyme or Reason: The ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’ Bank Bonus Culture," says Goldman, for example, paid $4.8 billion in bonuses in 2008 but earned only $2.3 billion. The firm received $10 billion in TARP funds. Citigroup's yearly losses topped $27 billion, but the bank nonetheless paid out $5.3 billion in bonuses, greased by $45 billion in bailout money.