2009 is turning out to be a great year for Wall Street pay. With unemployment at 9.5 percent and 6.5 million people out of work since 2007 wrapped up, you might be wondering how Wall Street could pull that off. The answer is simple: nobody makes the kind of campaign contributions that Wall Street does -- between 1998 and 2008, Wall Street made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists.
So the taxes from American consumers coupled with trillions of new debt are being funneled into enriching the people who brought the financial world to its knees. How so? Government is rewarding Wall Street -- with $12.9 trillion in taxpayer funds, the Public Private Investment Partnership (PPIP), a $1 trillion no-lose deal for big asset managers and hedge funds to buy financial toxic waste, and new rules that will make it possible for private equity firms to own banks -- the very capital sources on which they depend for their highly leveraged deals.