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Should Wall Streeters Give Their Bonuses to the Homeless?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 30, 2009

money and house.jpg

Economist and writer Katerina Alexandraki has launched a creative idea for easing the housing crunch this holiday season. She’s asking Wall Streeters getting big bonuses to contribute them to folks in danger of losing their homes.

Wall Streeters are expected to get a lot of heat this bonus season, both for creating the loose lending standards and securitization of loans that fueled the housing bubble and now for making a killing with stocks and distressed assets surging in value thanks largely to the trillions of dollars in government support. Check out the Web site for Katerina’s campaign, which she called Bonus for Homes.

Katerina hopes to distribute the money to low-income earners and the unemployed., specifically folks who were victims of predatory lending or who are facing foreclosure. She describes it as “a private-sector initiative to address the anomaly that, while everyone, from top to bottom, public and private, is to blame for the financial crisis, some of us have fared much better than others.”

She’s looking for volunteers to contribute or to nag their fellow high-earners. Of course you could just as easily donate to local housing-related charities. Maybe even with company matching funds!

Reader Comments

john tandlich

November 2, 2009 05:17 AM

here's a novel idea: bankers can donate their bonuses to the taxpayers.

homero vergara

November 2, 2009 07:55 AM

well sounds like a great idea, but what you'll see is the greed from people who are truly "Live and Let Die". One can't force others to give. Charity is only good for other countries, not us. If a wave needs to be started in this country, let it be a wave of giving..(time,expertise,knowledge,((money)). Unfortunately, many don't consider being generous unless the cameras are on. So Sad.


November 2, 2009 09:42 AM

NO!!! Asking them to give up maybe 1/4 is enough. They have families, bills, etc. like the rest of us. If they would give that much to people that really NEED the help would be great. But then a panel would have to be hired to search through apps. to find them, and those people would want paid, so a search would have to be done to find out what to pay them, and that would have to be paid for,etc,etc


November 2, 2009 01:00 PM

Well, I don't know if it would work, but:

1) It does seem absolutely just.

2) It would not be wholly unwise for the rich to bail out the poor a bit here. The recovery is still very tentative and their very wealth (the value of their personal money and investments, ect..) still depends on main street's eventual recovery.


November 2, 2009 04:59 PM

There are comments submitted, you just choose to censor them. What, too much of a coward to stand behind this dribble you wrote. It's obvious you live in fantasyland with lame stories like this.

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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