Every year those big Wall Street bonuses become the talk of the town, but this year it could be for a whole new reason.
There's rumblings on Capitol Hill that lawmakers might look to limit or even do away with bonuses this year.
The first salvos were fired late Tuesday when Rep. Henry Waxman, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he sent letters to the first nine major banks set to receive a capital injection from the government, seeking information on their compensation and bonus plans for 2008 and other years.
He wrote, "I question the appropriateness of depleting the capital that taxpayers just injected into the banks through the payment of billions of dollars in bonuses, especially after one of the financial industry's worst years on record."
Though what's commonly known as the Wall Street bailout package includes modest restrictions on CEO pay, it hardly prevents participating financial firms from paying bonuses to top executives and others.
And it seems many on Wall Street are expecting some big money. eFinancialCareers tells Fast Money, "We thought you'd be interested in the results of post-bailout survey of Wall Street professionals on their bonuses expectations. 2/3 are expecting a 2008 bonus; 36% are expecting that bonus to be higher than their 2007 bonuses. There's even a minority - 10% - that expect this year's bonus to the 33% higher."
Dylan Ratigan is outraged by the news in general. He can't believe that financial services sector could take on so much risk that they need a $750 billion taxpayer funded bailout and then turn around still provide their upper echelon with bonuses.
What do you think? Should regulators limit Wall Street bonuses this year?
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Trader disclosure: On Oct.29 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Macke Owns (MSFT), (WMT), (MCD), (SDS), (UUP); Najarian Owns (BNI) Put Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) And Is Short (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (MS) And Is Short (MS) Calls; Najarian Owns (PBR); Najarian Owns (MSFT) And Is Short (MSFT) Calls; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (F), (MER)
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