Excessive Wall Street bonuses hurt shareholders, Brandon Rees, an executive compensation consultant for the AFL-CIO, told CNBC Wednesday.
“Between 2000 and 2008, the top five executives at Lehman Brothers received over $1 billion in compensation,” said Rees. "At Bear Stearns the top five executives received over $1.4 billion in total compensation.
"Meanwhile, shareholders of those institutions were completely wiped out because of the excessive risk-taking and the bonuses they gave those executives.”
Rees said that Wall Street paid out some $20 billion in bonuses last year. Rees also maintains that high bonuses damage both taxpayers, who bailed out Wall Street banks following the financial crisis, and the country.