January 30th, 2009
09:30 PM ET

Talk to the hand...or my butler

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/30/art.money.bill.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

President Obama is fuming.  And who can blame him after learning that Wall Street executives gave themselves more than $18 billion in bonuses last year as the economy tanked and they begged for taxpayer bailouts.  Seriously, how many pedicures and pinky rings do they need?

I’ve decided that, if I worked on Wall Street, I could scrape by on a mere $1 billion. Granted, I wouldn’t be able to invest in as many Ponzi schemes as I’d like, but it’d be enough that my dog, Sammy, could enroll in that yoga class she’s been talking about.

It would be difficult to know where to begin, but I think my first indulgence after receiving my modest bonus would be to buy a new home.  I would put in a bid for an Upper East Side penthouse but, of course, would be rejected by the pretentious co-op board, jealous of my new friendships with Puff Daddy and Susan Lucci.

Disheartened with Manhattan, I would buy a mansion in Connecticut.  Where I would be closer to my Wall Street brethren and where my cadre of helper monkeys dressed like hotel bellmen would be free to roam the grounds.

I would need, of course, a proper butler.  His name would be Winston.  He would be just like Alfred from Batman, except he would be from New Jersey and would speak with Madonna’s British accent.

Winston would, obviously, be the one who answered my phone.  “I’m sorry, President Obama, Mr. Gray is unavailable right now.  He’s in a meeting.”  Which would be code for “He’s drinking Bud Light in the Jacuzzi.”

I would need a car, to be sure.  Nothing ostentatious.  Just something simple and understated to get me from Point A to Point B.  Any yellow Bentley convertible would do just fine.

I suppose I’d need a boat, too.  Well, not a boat, exactly.  More like a yacht.  But a small yacht.  Because, really, in this economy, who needs more than two helipads?

And, before you say anything, yes, I would buy gifts for my family.  I would anxiously anticipate the look on my grandfather’s face when I presented him with a toupee made from the hair of Arabian horses.

All would be going swimmingly – lavish parties with my Wall Street colleagues, a caviar vending machine in my bedroom – until late one night, when Winston would find me sobbing on my Corinthian leather sofa.  “My billion dollar bonus has not brought me the happiness I had hoped for,” I would tell him as I blew my nose into a hundred dollar bill.

“Maybe that’s because,” Winston would suggest, as he handed me a lobster and sherry smoothie, “you feel guilty for sponging off hardworking American taxpayers.”

And then we would both burst out laughing.

Because Winston would always know how to cheer me up.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Carol Hines

    I don't see anything in this billion dollar package to put money in the pockets of the millions of the disabled, retired, and unemployed. Tax cuts will not help us. At least they extended unemployment. Unfortunately in AZ that's only $248 a week.
    I also read in an AARP publication that although the Medicare RX plan doughnut hole has seniors angry, the government can't afford to fix it because it would cost $3 bil. Yet they throw billions to the banks, insurance companies, and wallstreet, who don't care about us at all. Is Washington trying to tell us we don't count? It's our tax money and our childrens that they are wasting. I sure could use help in April when my husband will be in the doughnut hole and we have to pay for his medication with money we don't have.

    February 2, 2009 at 2:32 am |
  2. Helen, Reading, UK

    Jolene, what a fabulous idea! The Jack Gray Groupie Cruise! As a rule, I don't do boats, but for this I'd make an exception. After all, the British are meant to be a nation of sailors.. To get on the guest list, you must bring a cake for Jack, a carton of smokes for Sammy, and a family sized bag of popcorn for Anderson!

    February 1, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  3. Robert

    Not defending the Wall Street execs – to pay themselves such bonuses at taxpayer expense is disgusting. However, it sickens me how Obama, and his culpable cronies in the democratic party, like Frank, Pelosy, etc. continue to place blame on everyone else for a problem that t THEY created. Clinton and the likes of Pelosy are the ones who threatened prosecution if banks didn't proceed with risky loan practices to ensure that their political base could buy a house, even if they knew they couldn't afford it! The problem has escalated in the last two years, and yes Bush holds some blame for doing nothing. But least we forget, who was in control of Congress for the last two years. Who was it that blocked Republican efforts to hold Fanni May and Freddie Mac executives accountable for fraud and mismanagement (seach youtube for “fannie may democrats”). Oh yea, I forget, as polls have shown, Obama voters can't answer such difficult civic questions.

    February 1, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  4. Vick

    They need to give that money back. That money was not suppose to be used for their payroll aka bonuses, etc. .... period. It was suppose to restructure their sad asses. Well, the only thing that was improved upon was WallStreet's lifestyle of greed.

    January 31, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  5. Pete Oregon

    Wall street has eliminated the middle class, my ira is gone and i cant put a new roof on my house and it rains a lot in Oregon so i will have to get out the bucket. Thanks wall street.

    January 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  6. Pat Canada

    I'd love to be able to laugh but something about unconscionable CEO's treating themselves to tax payers' 18 mil in bonuses after screaming Help our Empire is toppling, somehow doesn't leave me enough wind for even a giggle. Obama needs to send the guns in.

    January 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  7. Leslie

    There is great deal of misinformation out there in regard to Wall Street bonuses. First of all, most Wall Street employees receive salaries far below their educated equivalents in other industries and rely on bonuses to bring their pay up to the equivalent of their counterparts. The multi million dollar bonuses you hear about are for the very top executives and not for the majority of the employees. Our salary would not cover the taxes that go to the public school in our community. We don't have a second home and we drive a 10 year old car with 125,000 miles on it, yet my husband will not be paid a bonus because of the hysteria on the the street. Our finances have been obliterated as we watched the stock market plummet. We are forced to hold onto our company stock for 5 years as that is how the bonuses have been paid, so we couldn't even sell the stock as it plummeted from 30 to 3.

    Across the board, industry bonuses are down 40% and over 250,000 innocent Wall Street employees have lost their jobs.

    Don't confuse the greed of the top 5% with the rest of the industry.

    January 31, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
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