POPULISM

Cuomo Blasts Big Bank Bonuses

Think New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo might have an election on his mind? Look no further than the title of his new report on big bank bonuses for the answer, which does not shy away from stoking the populist furor. Titled "No Rhyme or Reason: The 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose' Bank Bonus Culture," the report chronicles the outrageous amounts of cash given to executives, even as they presided over one of the biggest economic catastrophes in recent history. Three firms—Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase—actually doled out bonuses that exceeded their total earnings in 2008. Cuomo does not mince words when conveying his disgust: "When the banks did well, their employees were paid well. When the banks did poorly, their employees were paid well. And when the banks did very poorly, they were bailed out by taxpayers and their employees were still paid well."