Investment bank Lehman Brothers is bankrupt, but 10,000 of its New York employees stand to get a piece of a bonus pool worth $2.5 billion.
According to The Independent newspaper, that revelation has fueled a firestorm of fury among former Lehman workers, Lehman employees in Europe and the Mideast, who won't share in the bonus and may lose their jobs, and financial experts who say the bonus program is flawed.
Barclays Bank, which is buying Lehman, confirmed to The Independent that the $2.5 billion program was established before Lehman filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Barclays also said the bonus pool would be paid out.
Anger also is rising over the fact that Barclays is preparing to offer eight New York directors of Lehman two-year contracts worth between $10 million and $25 million a year.
"There's been a great deal of irresponsibility," the Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on BBC1. "There's an element of the bonus system that is unacceptable."
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