21 January 2010

Goldman Sachs bankers to lead $108bn bonus windfall

Wall Street bankers are set to receive a windfall of $108 billion in pay and bonuses - more than four times Australia's annual military spending.

Goldman Sachs hot shots are expected to land an 81 percent rise in pay and bonuses for 2009, leading Wall Street's biggest banks in rewarding staff with a total of $108 billion (US$100 billion).

Analysts predict that Goldman will hand out up to $22 billion to its 30,000 staff members - a windfall of around $715,780 a head – sparking further public backlash over fat cat pay.

Australia's defence budget for 2009-10 was set at $25 billion in May last year - increased by $1.7 billion to help fund the cost of operations in Afghanistan ($1.4 billion), Iraq ($62.2 million) and East Timor ($213.8 millon).

Goldman, which will round up the US banks reporting season on Thursday, is bracing itself for outrage despite many staff taking bonuses in shares rather than cash, as well as higher-paid executives being forced to donate money to charity.

Rival bank JP Morgan was slammed by politicians across the globe on Friday when it revealed plans to pay up 24,654 traders a vast $10.1 billion in bonuses.

JP Morgan's bankers in London are thought to be in line for an average $409,500, according to UK reports.

The bank was awarded $16.6 billion of US taxpayers' cash amid the global financial crisis last year. It has since repaid the loan, and last week posted a huge jump in profits to almost $13 billion.

Meanwhile, rival Morgan Stanley is rumoured to be planning payouts worth $16 billion, despite being slated to have lost around $922 million this year.

Citigroup is expected to pay out $5.5 billion in bonuses to its investment banking arm, despite preparing to report losses of $9.2 billion this week, according to The Sunday Times.

The bank, which was the last of its peers to repay the US government, is expected to admit to paying staff more than $32.5 billion in bonuses, salaries and benefits overall.

The windfalls come days after the US President Barack Obama unveiled a "Spank the Banks" tax which will net $125 billion over a decade, in a bid to curb the "obscene" bonus culture.

In the UK, the new 50 percent "super-tax" on bonuses above $44,000 should pull around $530 million into the government's coffers.

However, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has been urged to match Obama's move.

Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable told The Sun newspaper that continuing to reward reckless bankers was akin to "giving a gambling addict a ticket to Las Vegas".

By Emma Thelwell, ninemsn Money 18 Jan 2010

In a system that is realistically 'above the law'

Bankers and Financiers who control the world,

give pre$ents to each other.

18 January 2010

Brother 'shielded sister' in fatal Melbourne crash

One of the youths killed in yesterday's horror crash in Melbourne helped shield his little sister as the car they were in lost control and slammed into a tree.

Anthony Ianetta, 18, shoved 15-year-old Elissa down as the Ford Falcon XR6 hit a median strip, spun out of control then swerved back onto the road before ploughing into a large tree.

"She remembers that … he shoved her head in between his legs to try and protect her," Elissa's mother Rose Sutera told the Herald Sun.

"As they roared around the corner, he gripped the handle above the back seat door — he must have known what was going to happen."

The crash, described by emergency workers as they worst they had ever seen, left Anthony and four of his mates dead and Elissa in hospital.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright said the driver of the Falcon sedan carrying six people from a party in Ivanhoe at about 1.50am (AEDT) lost control on Plenty Road, Mill Park, in perfect conditions.

Mr Cartwright estimated the vehicle was travelling at 140km/h in an 80km/h zone when it struck and wrapped itself around the tree, which fell onto the car splitting the vehicle apart.

"As far as we can tell the car's doing about 140km/h, just crazy speeds," he told reporters at the scene.

"There are six young people on board, five of them have died instantly.

"How many times do we have to say to people: `Speed kills'?

"This isn't speed, this is just lunacy."

Others killed included driver Steve Johnstone, 19, and his half-brother Will Te-Whare, 15, both of South Morang.

Ben Hall, 19, and Matt Lister, 17, also of South Morang, were killed.

Elissa Ianetta remains in a serious but stable condition in Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Under probationary driver restrictions, Mr Johnstone should have been carrying only one of the young passengers in his car, police confirmed to AAP.

Deputy Commissioner for road policing Ken Lay told the told Fairfax Radio Network Mr Johnstone had previous form for speeding.

"We believe he had a prior conviction for a high speed in the last year or so," Mr Lay said.

"He shouldn't have had passengers in the car, he had a five-seater car with six passengers it ... and as a result we've got five kids dead, a shocking story of a young girl trapped under broken bodies for a long time while we tried to get her out."

He said there was evidence the car was speeding in Ivanhoe earlier in the night.

"... This car was apparently seen a little earlier in the night at 150km/h with a passenger hanging out the window."

Ambulance paramedic Ron McLeod said rescue workers had to lift three of the dead teenagers off the 15-year-old to free her from the wreckage.

"I've been a paramedic for 30 years and this is the most horrific scene I've ever seen," Mr McLeod told reporters.

He said the 15-year-old was "lucky to be alive"

ninemsn 18 Jan 2010

Example of more teenage trash killing themselves
AND endangering / killing others.

Upadate (28/01/2010) :

The drivers blood alcohol content was found to be 0.19 or appox 4 times the legal limit for a fully licensed driver.