Andrew Cuomo spends most of his time running for the governor’s job in New York State. In his spare time he acts as Attorney General and will investigate and prosecute anything he can get his hands on.
People who made a lot of money on Wall St. are a perfect target. It plays to the news media, and Cuomo loves to see his picture in the papers.
The next victim of Cuomo’s zeal will be bankers at Merrill Lynch, now owned by Bank of America (BAC), who made $10 million or more for their work last year. As the media has pointed out, much of that compensation was in stock, which is probably worthless now.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “New York state’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, has issued subpoenas to several top Merrill Lynch & Co. executives.”
Lost in the media frenzy about the compensation is the fact that these traders and investment bankers almost certainly made every last dime of what they were paid. While their employers were losing tens of billions of dollars, most of these executives ran operations that were highly profitable. To a large extent, they kept their firms from losing more money than they did.
It is fair enough for Cuomo to launch his attack dogs on the CEOs who made decisions which brought down their companies. The managers who were making the firms tremendous amounts of money at the same time should really be left alone.
Douglas A. McIntyre