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Bonus Season: Mega-Millions Jackpot?

Wednesday, 13 Dec 2006 | 2:13 PM ET

Some would call a $25 million bonus excessive – perhaps obscene. But that's exactly what some Wall Street traders and bankers will find in their Christmas stockings this year. Should some of that money be going to shareholders – or are those big numbers needed to hold onto the top money makers? On "Power Lunch," CNBC’s Sue Herera took a closer look at bonuses and whether they’re needlessly excessive.

She spoke with Steven Hall, Managing Director of Steven Hall Partners, an executive consulting firm – and Brad Agle, Director of the Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh.

Bonuses: Fair or Frivolous
It's been a big year on Wall Street, and that means even bigger bonuses. Steven Hall, Steven Hall Partners Managing Dir.; Brad Agle, Univ. of Pittsburgh Ctr. for Ethics & Leadership Dir.; and CNBC's Sue Herera discuss whether these big bonuses are justified.

Steven Hall says "This is a market where individuals create the value and if a company doesn't want to pay them there's another one that will."

Sue Herera: How much is too much?

Steven Hall: "I'm not sure there is a number that is too much. It's important to keep these people locked in place."

Brad Agle: "They do indeed work hard and they deserve to make a lot of money - but there's a fundamental question about executive compensation - people in the country have to feel that there is fairness."

Agle added that (because of recent events) people don't always feel they can trust business leaders in this country and ask themselves, "Do these men really deserve to get this much money?"

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  • Sue Herera is a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She is co-anchor of "Power Lunch."

  • Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC's "Power Lunch." Mathisen also co-anchors "Nightly Business Report produced by CNBC."

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Kenny Polcari