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The rich people got richer this year, and the reason was this bail-out. We guess some things never change:

Banks that have their hands out in Washington this year were handing out multimillion-dollar rewards to their executives last year. The 116 banks that so far have received taxpayer dollars to boost them through the economic crisis gave their top tier of executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other benefits in 2007, an Associated Press analysis found. That amount, spread among the 600 highest paid bank executives, would cover the bailout money given to 53 of the banks that have shared the $188 billion that Washington has doled out in rescue packages so far. Some banks trimmed their executive compensation in the face of faltering performance that foreshadowed the current economic crisis, but they still granted multimillion-dollar packages. Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management, the AP review of federal securities documents found. Such bonuses amount to a bribe for executives “to get them to do the jobs for which they are well paid in the first place,” said Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services committee.

Thanks to these crooks, we are still in this turmoil and it doesn’t seem likely that things will change any time soon, unless our fearless leader, Barack Obama, makes this his first priority.

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