Last Year's Big Five Wall Street Bonuses

As the Bush Administration asks for close to a trillion dollars to prevent a worldwide financial cataclysm, here are some numbers you might find interesting -- courtesy of the ABC News Research Center and ABC News' Barbara Paulson.

In 2007, Wall Street's five biggest firms -- Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley -- paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.

That's $10 billion more than the $29 billion loan taxpayers are making to J.P. Morgan to save Bear Stearns.

Those 2007 bonuses were paid, even though the shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about $74 billion in stock declines -- their worst year since 2002.

If split equally among the approximately 186,000 workers at the former Big Five Houses, that bonus money means an average of $201,500 per person -- more than four times the $48,201 median household income in the U.S. last year.

-- jpt

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