The banks are in a freefall. Congress and the White House are eyeballing their actions. Merrill Lynch is such a disaster that the government had to arrange its purchase by Bank of America. Merrill knows it's about to post huge quarterly losses. So what does it do? Doles out literally billions in bonuses to the fattest of the company's fat cats, with the result being that B of A's CEO must now endure the bad PR of being hauled in on a subpoena by NY AG Cuomo. (That should help restore public confidence in our financial leaders.)
Is it just me, or does this strike anyone else as Blago-level stupidity? You know you're being watched, and yet you do something so egregious that you're guaranteed a nasty public backlash.
I don't know if Merrill/B of A's behavior will turn out to be criminal. But it's certainly outrageous enough to merit repercussions of some sort.