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PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla delivers its 500th Roadster.

Proposed: Pay Banker Bonuses in Electric Cars

Alex Salkever offers a 'modest proposal' to pay bonuses in the form of Tesla Roadsters.

Published: 21-Jul-2009

Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM), reported blow-out earnings to be matched with blow-out six and seven-figure bonuses for their staffs. And struggling electric car company Tesla Motors opened a Gotham showroom (via AMNewYork) for its Roadster. This sporty two-seater zips from zero-to-sixty in a breathtaking 3.7 seconds. The car's $109,000 price tag is also breathtaking. But if you're a bulge-bracket banker, coughing up $109,000 for a car means merely a slight downgrade on the Hamptons summer rental. So the modest proposal is thus -- for all bankers getting bonuses over $500,000 -- to put their names on the Tesla waiting list and take the cash out of their bonuses.

Such a plan would have numerous benefits. First and foremost, ownership of such a limited edition vehicle (only a few hundreds Tesla Roadsters have been produced to date) would enhance the self-esteem of the beleaguered Investment bankers by giving them a toy that their out-of-work hedge fund homies don't have (only 40 Roadsters have been delivered to New York City zip codes to date).

The car might also be reward enough to assuage the bankers' nerves, frayed from repeated and angry questions about how these folks managed to take billions in taxpayer bailout monies and still end up with such fat bonuses while the real unemployment rate hovers around 16 percent. But with the Tesla bonus plan, these bankers are helping support a new American industry, providing for American jobs, and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil -- a nifty trifecta.

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