No bonuses for Wall Street top executives amid financial crisis

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Washington, Dec 9 (ANI): Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch CEOs have given up bonuses amid a climate of bank failures, thousands of layoffs and an economic recession

Morgan Stanley CEO John J. Mack is giving up a bonus for the second straight year, CBS News reported.

Mack said in a memo on Monday to employees that he and the firm's two presidents, James Gorman and Walid Chammah, informed their board's compensation committee of their decision to forgo 2008 bonuses, and the committee accepted.

He also said the company is planning to make further changes to year-end compensation for other employees.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain will not receive any extra pay this year, despite his request to the firm's compensation committee for a multi-million dollar bonus. Merrill's other four top executives have also asked the committee not to pay them at all.

The CEO compensation debate comes as global banks have lost billions of dollars amid a credit crisis that still has yet to be contained. In the last few months, major US banks have taken advantage of a 700 billion dollar government bailout program to help them avoid fates similar to that of storied investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which declared bankruptcy in October.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein - and six of his top lieutenants - announced last month that they won't take cash or stock bonuses for 2008. (ANI)

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