Obama Calls $18B in Wall Street Bonuses Outrageous

By: AP
By: AP
President Barack Obama reacted harshly Thursday to reports that corporate employees got paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year.

A passer-by walks past an electronic stock board in downtown Tokyo Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. Japanese shares nose-dived more than 10 percent in morning trade Friday as panicked investors dumped stocks following massive overnight losses on Wall Street and on growing fears over a global recession. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 974.12 points, or 10.64 percent, to close the morning session at 8,183.37. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama says it is irresponsible and shameful for Wall Street bankers to be paid huge bonuses at a time when the American public is dealing with economic hardship.

The president reacted harshly Thursday to reports that corporate employees got paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year.

Said Obama: ``That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful.''

The president said he and new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will have direct conversations with corporate leaders to make the point.

Obama said there is a time for corporate leaders to make profits and get paid bonuses but now is ``not that time.''


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