Mad Money

Mad Mail: Retention Bonuses During a Recession?


Booyah to the Jimbo-nator!: I completely lost it when I found out that despite all the doom and gloom that currently exists…Merrill Lynch paid out utterly ridiculous amounts of money last Friday to their brokers as "retention bonuses" so they wouldn't leave the firm. Where the heck are they going to go in this market? I don't know, Jim, but isn't this outrageous and just plain wrong? Please shed some light! --Steven from New Jersey

Cramer says: “There are no jobs whatsoever. Retention bonuses – it’s just a handout. Look, everything about this whole era of the bonus since the TARP money is shameless. Pre-TARP money, I’m all about giving them the money. Why? Because that’s where I got my start. I didn’t have any money. I went to this place, I made a lot of money on Wall Street. But if you’re going to ask for money from the government, you’ve got to give in and not take the money and line your pockets – shame.”

Mad Mail


Hi Cramer: I have been watching for quite some time now, and would like to know what you would do if you were in a position to fix the housing mess. It seems that the government has just given the banks enough money to sell foreclosed homes at huge losses and not feel it on their balance sheets. Meanwhile, they are ruining the market values of the properties that the rest of us own. Do you think if they were forced to keep and manage the properties, or sell them for only a small percentage below comps, it would help to keep homeowners out of the red by not destroying home values? --Cramer Junkie, Jeff

Cramer says: “We’ve got to get the existing pool down. That way the rising tide will lift all homes. That’s why we have to give each person who buys an existing home a huge tax credit. Then we have to have some of these homebuilders go out of business. Ultimately, we have to forebear on the banks. Don’t make them sell property until we see prices rising.”

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