It was only a few weeks ago that President Barack Obama was denouncing Wall Street “fat cats” for “obscene” bonuses.
But now he says he is totally cool with the $17 million bonus awarded to JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and the the $9 million awarded to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. He even went so far as to use the favourite cliche of bonus defenders, pointing out that some sports stars earn more thank bank executives.
The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “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.”
“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”