While we’re all in a tirade about bank executive bonuses being dealt out, it’s worth noting as Felix Salmon does, that “bonuses,” are often the leftover of salary held in reserve all year long. What’s that you say? That means that in your regular paycheck every week/bi-weekly/month, a certain percentage of your income as a banker is being withheld to be paid out as a “bonus” at the end of the year. Plus the actual bonus money, of course. But some of that $18 billion so much in the news lately is what you’d expect to be paid as any other employee who gets a salary.
It is equally worth noting that Detroit union workers are taking a hit on their paychecks this year to help deal with the looming crisis there, and thus it’s entirely reasonable for taxpayers to expect a similar sacrifice from someone making $100,000 a year. But fair is fair, a fact is a fact, and despite the unfortunate name and odd policy, some of this money is actually a fair paycheck. Take it for what it’s worth.