Thank you, Andrew Cuomo. And you, too, Henry Waxman.
Somebody had to step up. Somebody should be making sure top banking executives don't reap undue rewards after tapping into taxpayer funds. That somebody should have been Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
At least the New York attorney general's office is keeping a close eye on things, with Cuomo sending letters to the nine banks receiving half of the $250 billion the Feds are doling out to inject capital back into the banking system. Cuomo, like U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), is demanding details on bonus payments to banking executives put in place both before and after the banks found out they'd be getting taxpayer funds.
Both of them sent letters to Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), Bank of New York Mellon (BK), Citigroup (C - Get Report), Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report), JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report), Merrill Lynch (MER), Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report), State Street (STT) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report).Why is it always New York looking out for the little guy? Where's Paulson? Who's running this show? Come on. We've already seen that an absolute laissez faire approach doesn't work with this crowd. Bailouts must come with strings attached, and government officials need to make sure those strings are tied tightly. It's just that simple.