no, I really do not deserve this

Pop quiz: What do you do if you’re the last vestige of Lehman Brothers, the banking and investment company whose demise was the biggest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history and now you’re in the post-bankruptcy process of slowly unraveling the clusterfuck that you caused in the world economy? Do you a) feel really sorry and promise never to be in charge of more than $15 of anyone else’s money for the entire rest of your life, or b) give your employees $44 million in bonuses, because even though they work for the remains of the company that started a global financial meltdown, they’re still swell! Yeah, this quiz was too easy, ugh, the answer is b. And we ask ourselves, once again, how is it that Occupy didn’t end up with heads on spikes?

After filing for bankruptcy in 2008 and then exiting bankruptcy after being sold as a reorganized company with a new board of directors in 2012, Lehman Brothers Holdings (as the sad remainder of the company is called) is continuing to sell off its assets in order to pay back its creditors, a process that takes years. And during that time, employees keep getting bonuses. In 2013, the post-bankruptcy employees received $50 million in bonuses, while in 2014, they only received $44 million. Sadface.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Lehman has previously said it expects to pay its postbankruptcy employees and other outside professionals about $1.1 billion over the next three-plus years.

Meanwhile, the nine board members of Lehman Brothers Holdings:

received $5.2 million in incentive payments, according to court papers. The incentive payments are based on a sliding scale linked to “value” distributed to unsecured creditors, the speed of the distributions and the reduction of claims against Lehman.

Which is approximately $578,000 in “incentive payments” to each board member. Seriously, how can we get a job like this, getting an unbelievably sweet bonus while unraveling the transactions of the defunct bank that helped wreck the world economy?

To be honest, while $44 million in bonuses paid among a few hundred employees (about $146,000 in bonuses each) is an extremely lovely amount of money to most normal people, you are probably aware that a Wall Street bank-type biz could act in a much, MUCH more egregious fashion. Let us even use Lehman Brothers as our example! In 2007, before the market collapsed, 50 of Lehman’s top employees made $700 million (an average of $14 million in total compensation each, with some receiving $8 million and some receiving $50 million). If you look at it that way, the ones who are getting $146,000 this year are probably sitting around crying. But here’s who’s really crying — the rest of us. The median household income in 2013 in U.S. America was $51,939, and most of us do NOT get $10 million or $146,ooo or even $1,000 in bonus money. Ever.

The moral of this story is probably that it is so hard to be an employee working for post-bankruptcy Lehman, because you will not make pre-2008 bonuses ever again, until you find another job with a bank that’s still alive, like Goldman Sachs, where this jerk sued last year because his $8 million bonus wasn’t big enough. Just kidding, the moral of this story is that if you thought anyone associated with Lehman or post-Lehman or any Wall Street bank has learned anything from crashing the world economy and the optics of rewarding people for that terrible behavior, you are WRONG.

[WSJ/LATimes/image via]

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  • diogenez

    Give them tar. And feathers.

    • weejee

      And rails to ride.

    • Monsieur_Grumpe

      And a pike to sit on.

  • Reddishrabbit

    My employer, in its infinite wisdom, got ride of all bonus for workers. Shareholders must be served above all. Hence my commitment to reading more mommy blogs/recipe hubs/pony appreciation sites.

    • eggsacklywright

      They love to bone us.

  • ArgieBargie

    *High-fives the free market invisible hand*

  • memzilla

    I read stuff like this and come perilously close to violating the Commenting Rules For Radicals.

    Perhaps ISIS can be hired on a contract basis?

    • weejee

      Give them a call chop, chop?

  • Toomush_Infer

    In 2008, I transferred the entire Toomush fortune (two beans) to the local credit union, which makes local loans up here in Chebekibekistanstan, MI….slept good, since….

  • onedrewthree

    Do you think they eat the money?

    • Blank Ron

      Traditionally they use it to light their cigars.

      • weejee

        Or stuff their shirts.

        • House0fTheBlueLights

          we have a winner

  • jte

    I’ve always said that I could completely bankrupt and drive a Fortune 500 company into the ground faster, and for like a tenth the salary, of some of these fatcat CEO’s. I would also be willing to completely overleverage my interest rate swaps portfolio and cost the bank billions in losses, for like $500,000, and I won’t even demand a bonus. I don’t know why they keep paying idiots millions to do a job I would do for a fraction of the cost.

    • Blank Ron

      I blame my high school guidance counsellor for not telling me that jobs like that even existed.

  • “The incentive payments are based on a sliding scale linked to ‘value’ distributed to unsecured creditors, the speed of the distributions and the reduction of claims against Lehman.”

    There is so much wrong with this statement that I can’t even……

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      It’s CYA incentives.

  • weejee

    / greases wheels on tumbrels.

    • PubOption

      Seems that Lehman has plenty of experience in greasing wheels, although not on tumbrels.

  • Zippy

    If the Tea Party had even an iota of legitimacy, they’d be as angry about this as we are. Sure, they say they care if you ask them directly, but most of those useful idiots are too busy looking for communists under their bed or fretting about some ghey person getting married or pissing their pants about ISIS or illegals to even notice how badly they’re getting ripped off. And that is exactly why anyone who is paying attention makes fun of those idjits (talking to YOU, deleted commenters).

    • Callyson

    • bobbert

      There is not a single Bagger who has a fucking clue about this. If they did, they wouldn’t be Baggers.

  • Tallmutha

    Incentive payments? How about we go back to good old “trying to keep your ass out of prison” as an incentive?

    • Zippy

      Poor people need threats, rich people need bribes to do the right thing

  • Spotts1701

    So if we don’t motivate them with big bonuses, they crash the economy. And even then they need big bonuses to sift through the rubble and sell off whatever they can find to pay off their creditors.
    This certainly isn’t the way they taught me capitalism in college.

    • Blank Ron

      Adam Smith weeps…

  • orygoon

    That should help them decorate those cardboard boxes they’ve been living in since they packed up their desks, right?

  • FauxAntocles

    Evil is as evil does.

  • bikerlaureate

    Their concern for “optics” doesn’t extend beyond their pricey possessions and their account balance statements.
    It doesn’t have to – they’re immune to justice.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    Dear Banker Scum,
    If you pay people when they succeed instead of when they fail you will get better results.
    You’re Welcome,

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Depends on your definition of success.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    Can’t wait to hear what Ms. Warren has to say about this.

    • Hardly Ideal

      I’d settle with some variation of “Eat the rich!”

      • House0fTheBlueLights

        I have a slightly different version, but would run up against the Rules for Commenting Radicals.

  • FlownOver

    Where the hell did I leave that WALL? I know it’s around here somewhere! Having more and more trouble keeping up with all the motherfuckers who need to be up against it.

    • Anarchy Pony

      You’re gonna need Wall Plus.

      • SterWonk

        I know! How about building a Wall up against one side of an entire Street…

  • Rick Hill

    I felt pretty good before, working 70 hrs a week to keep from losing my ratty falling apart home but now? Now I haz a sad for these poor guys….Thanks, Obama.

  • Spurning Beer

    Almighty God, we ask Thee to rain down unspeakable misfortune and pain upon our brothers and sisters (just kidding, Lord, they’re all brothers) in the financial world who enrich themselves by deceit and fraud; strip them of their dishonest “earnings” and wealth and render them effectively unemployable; let them eat only snack foods and drink only store-brand soda; take from them their memberships in gymnasia and country clubs; lay waste their dentition and wipe the smug expressions from off their faces; take from them their Porsches and Bentleys and Audis; and inflict their bones with crippling arthritis; in Thy mercy, Amen.

    • FlownOver

      Yeah, right… might as well expect USDOJ to rain down a perp walk, ruinous legal fees and a few years in Club Fed on these “brothers.” Don’t wait up for either to happen.

      • Spurning Beer

        Just consider it an Old Testament-style version of “eat a bag of lightly salted rat dicks.”

    • bobbert

      You do this pretty well. It almost makes me wish there were an Almighty God.

  • say wha

    “…if you thought anyone associated with Lehman or post-Lehman or any Wall Street bank has learned anything from crashing the world economy and the optics of rewarding people for that terrible behavior, you are WRONG.”
    That is not exactly accurate. They learned that the invisible hand of the free market can be used to pick the pocket of the taxpayers and extract enough bailout money to keep them alive until the next time they screw the pooch (and by pooch I mean you and me.)

  • Anarchy Pony

    “And we ask ourselves, once again, how is it that Occupy didn’t end up with heads on spikes?”


    • Not self-righteous anarchos excluding everyone who wasn’t a vegan and didn´t listen to hard-core punk? (I kid, I kid.)

  • Shibusa

    Steal a box of cigarillos in America and get the death penalty.
    Steal billions from pension funds and taxpayers and get bonused for it.
    God bless America.

  • Callyson

    A Lehman spokeswoman ran the fuck away when she realized we wanted to ask questions about this crap wasn’t immediately available for comment on the bonuses


  • calliecallie

    This makes a sucky day even suckier. It needs moar kittehs. Or ponies.

  • AnOuthouse

    Everybody knows Occupy failed because Breitbart is no longer around to tell them to stop raping.

  • AnOuthouse

    This weekend only, I could be incentivized for $300k, a 48% savings if you act now.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Shit, I could be incentivized for $50 bucks and a bus pass at this point.

  • how is it that Occupy didn’t end up with heads on spikes?

    Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy

    Naomi Wolf

    It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

    The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    “Approximately $578,000 in “incentive payments” to each board member.”

    I will spare you the knowledge of how often a board of directors actually meets.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      So, they’re getting $578,000 per hour is what you’re saying.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    The rich are different, all right.
    After you go bankrupt and have a mob of howling creditors at your door, see what happens if YOU try to pocket millions hundreds.

  • OooShiny

    If Teavangelicals knew Republican marketing obsesses against gays, blacks and women merely to distract America’s ‘heartland’ from Wall Street’s unregulated, unbridled and dangerous-to-the-economy risk-taking and greed, would Teavangelicals finally actually direct their rage at the very people responsible for collapse of the economy?

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    I just did my taxes. My taxable income was just shy of $20K. My taxes were $8K (I’m self-unemployed, so I pay all of my medicare and ss). I think after living expenses I have just enough left for a pike.

  • JAWs

    Sleazy Lehman Bros was always my least favorite game. As a Sega fanboy, I was always partial to Sonic the Hedge-fund.

  • Thanks for sharing, hope that it can be a goodness for us
    all. Great sharing ,
    Keep istiqomah. ^^

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