SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Top Wall Street executives reacted harshly on Friday to proposed legislation that would punitively tax bonuses awarded to employees at firms receiving federal assistance.
Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit and Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Ken Lewis issued strongly worded internal memos about the proposed tax legislation, according to the online edition of The Wall Street Journal, while J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon sought to reassure his top executives that the firm is engaging with lawmakers on the matter.
The legislation, passed by the House on Thursday, would impose a 90% tax on bonuses for employees making over $250,000 a year at companies receiving at least $5 billion in federal aid under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
Citi’s Pandit criticized the proposed legislation in a memo to employees on Friday, arguing that it could result in the firm losing top talent.
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(CNN) — Senate Democrats and the White House failed to find 60 votes to end debate on a $14 billion auto bailout bill and bring it to a vote Thursday night, killing the measure for the year.
The 52-35 vote followed the collapse of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans seeking a compromise.
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From Paul Krugman at The New York Times:
Everyone’s talking about a new New Deal, for obvious reasons. In 2008, as in 1932, a long era of Republican political dominance came to an end in the face of an economic and financial crisis that, in voters’ minds, both discredited the G.O.P.’s free-market ideology and undermined its claims of competence. And for those on the progressive side of the political spectrum, these are hopeful times.
There is, however, another and more disturbing parallel between 2008 and 1932 — namely, the emergence of a power vacuum at the height of the crisis. The interregnum of 1932-1933, the long stretch between the election and the actual transfer of power, was disastrous for the U.S. economy, at least in part because the outgoing administration had no credibility, the incoming administration had no authority and the ideological chasm between the two sides was too great to allow concerted action. And the same thing is happening now.
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