Stratospheric Wall Street compensation, tax avoidance by corporations
“The top five U.S. banks paid staff a combined $119 billion for 2010, according to bank consolidated income statements.” from this Reuters article: Compensation seen rising among bankers: poll. Add in Goldman Sachs and the compensation comes to about $140 billion.
According to Dollars&Sense
Wall Street financiers received $20.8 billion in bonuses last year on top of pay packets so ginormous they’re almost impossible to fathom. Check this out:
Compensation (pay, benefits, bonuses)
Bank of America $35.1 billion
Wells Fargo $26.1 billion
JPMorgan Chase $25.4 billion
Citigroup $22.6 billion
Goldman Sachs $17.5 billion
Morgan Stanley $16.0 billion
Total $142.7 billion
This money is too good to let anything get in the way. Think of it like this: the aggregate compensation of Wall Street’s big boys dwarfs the gross state product of 20 of the 50 states. Their booty is the equivalent of 5 Vermonts, or 3 Maines, or 2 New Mexicos, or all of Kansas. Wrap your mind around that: the total output of Kansas, population 2.9 million, equals executive pay at 6 banks! The mind boggles.
So how startling is it to discover that they dump buckets of money lobbying Congress? Last year the American Bankers Association shelled out just over $3 million, Citigroup spent $5.8 million, JPMorgan spent $7.4 million, Wells Fargo spent $5.4 million, Bank of America spent $3.8 million, and Goldman Sachs doled out $4.6 million. When E.F. Hutton (Citigroup) talks, Congress listens.
Some facts about exorbitant pay and tax avoidance by corporations
- Executive Pay at Big Companies Rose 23% Last Year. (source)
- America’s largest global corporations are holding $1.5 trillion dollars in profits overseas in order to avoid US taxes. (source)
- Goldman Sachs, which received a $10 billion taxpayer bailout, got their effective tax rate down to 1%. (source) They are outsourcing 1000 jobs. (here)
- GE paid no US taxes on worldwide income of $14.2 billion. (source)
- In the 10 years ending in 2010, Boeing had $29 billion in profits, and paid minus-$948 million in federal taxes. (source)
- Twelve major U.S. businesses, with $171 billion in profits, combined to pay negative $2.5 billion in federal taxes the past three years. (source)
- The IRS estimates that individuals and corporations currently hold $5 trillion in tax haven countries. (source)
- One year loss in unpaid payroll taxes from businesses: $58 billion (source)
- Annual cost in oil & gas subsidies: $2.7 billion (source) First quarter 2011 profits of the six largest oil companies: $38 billion (source)
- Last fall, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against a bill that would have ended tax breaks for companies that shift American jobs overseas. (source)
Check out this Flash game for kids of all ages: Taxation Dodge Ball: stop tax-dodging corporations.