Governor Paterson came out swinging in defence of Wall Street bonuses yesterday.
At a speech to banking executives at the Museum of American Finance, Paterson called for New Yorkers to defend banker bonuses.
“Some people think that if you deny the bonuses, that the money’s coming back to the American taxpayers,” Paterson said (according to the NYT.)”It’s actually the other way around: If you deny the bonuses, the money stays in the firms. It’s when you pay out the bonuses that you start to get the huge tax collections that New Yorkers see.”
He said that bankers’ base pay is rather low, and said that New Yorkers should rally behind Wall Street, the “engine of our economy in New York.”
Richard Parsons, Citi chairman, called the speech “terrific.”