- Days left
President Barack Obama called it "shameful." Senator Christopher Dodd says he knows what we're all thinking: "this infuriates the American people, and rightly so." He follows that statement up with a demand (well, sorta): he'll use "every possible legal means" to get the Wall Street bonuses back; especially those $4 billion paid out by Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, shortly before handing the reins over to Bank of America.

I have to confess I am torn. While I am a bit outraged at having my tax money used for bonuses (I'm far more outraged at other things, like using my tax money to produce high fructose corn syrup, but that's an entirely separate rant), I'm also sympathetic with the bankers. Wait! Before you throw up all over your computer monitor, imagine being in their shoes: they work insane hours and are frequently subjected to scandalous treatment all year, giving up life, family and sanity at the service of the almighty deal.

When I worked at Merrill Lynch, a friend in the M&A department spent her Sunday nights consoling the analysts, who she'd find crying at the copy machine, wishing they could go see their recently widowed mother in Brooklyn, afraid they'd lose their jobs if they did. I am not kidding. One classmate was given a tongue-lashing for trying to spend Fourth of July with his dying dad. It may seem obscene to you, the money these people make, but the bonuses are sacred, considered the compensation for laying your life down to the Gods of Finance.

That Thain would put his career on the line to pay out bonuses to the faithful is, while unwise, also an entirely selfless act, a kind of fist-pump to his long-suffering crew. I do not believe in that lifestyle any more. But for those who do; for those who serve the few at the expense of the many; the greatest cost is suffered in solitude, with their families and sanity. I do not want their money back. I would, however, like to keep my soul, so I'll not weep for my life as an investment banker. Godspeed, Merrill Lynch, and next time, try just treating your employees well and paying them fairly and we can skip the presidential beration.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Tax Tips for the Blind

Anyone whose field of vision falls at or below 20 degrees, who wears corrective glasses but whose vision is 20/200 or less in his best eye, or who has no eyesight at all, meets the legal definition of being blind and is eligible for certain tax deductions.

What is Form 4255: Recapture of Investment Credit?

When is a tax credit not a tax credit? When the IRS takes it back. If you're in the situation where you have to file IRS Form 4255, you might have to pay back a tax credit you've earned in prior years. This process, known as recapture, occurs if you claim a credit -- in this case, a credit for a specific type of business investment -- and then no longer qualify for that credit.

The Most Important Tax Forms for ALEs (Applicable Large Employers)

In 2015, some parts of the Affordable Care Act specifically apply to businesses, in particular, large employers. The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions affect companies with 50 or more full-time employees or an equivalent of part-time or seasonal workers. These companies are called Applicable Large Employers, or ALEs. 2015 is considered a transition year as everyone gets used to the new normal for workplace health plans.

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum