By Patrick McGeehan, The New York TimesGov. David A. Paterson went to Wall Street on Wednesday, not to pillory financiers, as perhaps many of his constituents would have liked, but to praise them and defend the hefty year-end bonuses that have provoked intense furor.
Refusing to join in the collective bashing of investment bankers and traders that has become a national pastime, Mr. Paterson instead encouraged them to promote the critical role they have played in the city’s economy and would play in an economic rebound.
More than any other part of his noontime talk at the Museum of American Finance, Mr. Paterson’s brief mention of Wall Street compensation made clear his sympathies. In trying to explain why the often exorbitant year-end bonuses the big banks pay out are good for New York, he described salaries on Wall Street as “rather low.”