Obama: Bank Execs Should Forego Xmas Bonuses

President-elect Barack Obama said that bank executives can show responsibility by giving up their holiday bonuses.

Obama, in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, also suggested that auto executives were "a little tone-deaf" when they took private planes to Washington to ask lawmakers for a $25 billion bailout.

Read Obama talk about executives in the ABC interview below:

WALTERS: How did you feel when you read about the three heads of the auto companies taking private planes to Washington?

B. OBAMA: Well, I thought maybe they're a little tone-deaf to what's happening in America right now. And this has been a chronic problem, not just for the auto industry -- I mean, when people are pulling down $100 million bonuses on Wall Street and taking enormous risks with other people's money, that indicates a sense that you don't have any perspective on what's happening to ordinary Americans.

WALTERS: Should bank executives -- it's almost Christmastime -- forego their bonuses?

B. OBAMA: I think they should. That's an example of taking responsibility. I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars and you are having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, "I'm willing to make some sacrifice as well, because I recognize that there are people who are less well-off who are going through some pretty tough times."


AMERICAblog's Chris in Paris already supports the idea of getting workers to give up bonuses at a time when Americans are losing jobs. There's no word yet from Obama's more business-friendly conservative critics.

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