As you may know, some companies that accepted money from the bailout package now intend to give out billions of dollars in bonuses to their top employees. The normal grounds for bonuses seem to fall under the obvious implication that a reward is being given for good performance (and, to me, good performance suggests a successful, in the black, company). As the companies flounder, however, some see that as being a bit of a non-starter.
(Although I wonder, couldn’t we say that certain individuals still deserve bonuses who did their particular job well? Especially if that job has no large or direct effect on the institution/market?)
My real question is about another justification used in defense of bonuses and high Wall Street salary in general. Many say that the salary and bonus packages ensure that these companies retain only the highest caliber executives and other officials.
Given the competitiveness for high ranking positions in the financial field, does it not follow that there are probably a ton of highly talented professionals who would do the same job without obscene bonuses and without an absurd salary? Note that I am not against high salaries and bonuses for these jobs. I just wonder if they are truly necessary and – if so – to what degree.