Obama OK With Fat Bonuses for Blankfein, Dimon

Compares bank CEOs to overpaid baseball players
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2010 12:40 PM CST
Obama OK With Fat Bonuses for Blankfein, Dimon
President Barack Obama gestures while meeting reporters during the daily press briefing, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010, in the White House press briefing room in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Barack Obama says he’s down with the combined $26 million in bonuses that the CEOs of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are getting paid this year. “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama tells Bloomberg. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.”

Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein will make $9 million, while JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon pockets a whopping $17 million. That’s “an extraordinary amount of money,” Obama said, but “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series, either, so I’m shocked by that as well.” He praised the deals for paying out in stock, which ought to encourage long-term strategies rather than risky short-term ones. (More Lloyd Blankfein stories.)

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