Thu, January 29, 2009
World > Americas

Obama slams Wall Street's multi-billion-dollar bonuses

2009-01-29 22:30:38 GMT2009-01-30 06:30:38 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was outraged on Thursday by Wall Street's multi-billion-dollar bonuses for 2008, which he said was "shameful."

"It is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful," said Obama after talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at the White House.

"And part of what we are going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility," said the president.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Wall Street bankers had collected an estimated 18.4 billion dollars in bonuses for 2008, the sixth-largest haul on record.

"The American people understand that we have got a big hole we have got to dig ourselves out of but they don't like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole," said Obama.

"There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses," the president stated. "Now is not that time."

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