Gross Compensation

A really bad* article in New York Magazine this week about how our terrifyingly Galt superbankers have a sad because… oh, paging Taibbi. Thank you, sir:

When I read things like this I’m simultaneously amazed by two things. The first is the unbelievable tone-deafness of people who would complain out loud, during a time when millions of people around the country are literally losing their homes, that their bonuses – not their total compensation, mind you, but just their cash bonuses, paid in addition to their salaries and their stock packages – are barely enough to cover the mortgage payments for their new condos, the taxis they take when walking is too burdensome, and their girlfriends with expensive tastes.

The second thing that amazes me is that Sherman is buying all this. I don’t know this reporter at all, and I’m happy to concede that he probably hangs out with more Wall Street people than I do. But I’m still in touch with plenty of people in the business, and I have yet to have any investment bankers crying on my shoulder about how the Dodd-Frank bill is forcing them into generic breakfast cereals.

Now, I’m sure if you put it to them the right way – “Hey, Mr. Habitually Overpaid Banker, do you think Barack Obama and the Dodd-Frank bill are ruining your bonus season?” – you’ll get a good percentage of people who’ll take that cheese and cough out the desired quote.

But in reality? Please. Wall Street people complain a lot, but in the last six months, the grave impact of Dodd-Frank on bonuses hasn’t even been within ten miles of the things these people are really panicked about. The comments I’ve heard have been more like, “My asshole has been puckered completely shut for four months in a row over this Europe business,” or, “If the ECB doesn’t come up with a Greek bailout package, I’m going to have to sell my children for dog food.”

*bad, as in pathetic, whining and, as Taibbi explains, exhibiting a very poor understanding of the article’s own subject and focus. And our banker superhero wealth creators don’t have the sense or sensibility to even deflect this line of questioning in a time of suffering by so many of their fellow citizens. I would say their liberal arts educations failed them, but of course you skip all of that unnecessary language, history, philosophy and humanities when you opt for b-school. Geniuses. It’s almost enough to make one a Calvinist. Almost.

NY mag is ridiculously trashy already, which I know because we have a subscription thanks to one of Mrs. G’s former interns who now works there. But this is quite a combination of unfiltered and mis-aimed fluffing that is so uninformed as to seem subversive. But it’s not.

Thanks, RB.