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Commentary: Outraged by Wall Street bonuses

  • Story Highlights
  • Brown: Wall Street rewarded itself with $18 billion in bonuses for 2008
  • Brown: President Obama expressed appropriate outrage at news of bonuses
  • Obama: Bonuses are the "height of irresponsibility"
  • Obama: "There will be time for them to make profits ... Now is not that time."
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Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Thursday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown says Obama was right to express outrage at news of $18 billion in Wall Street bonuses.

CNN's Campbell Brown says Obama was right to express outrage at news of $18 billion in Wall Street bonuses.

(CNN) -- A lot of us were outraged to read new details today about the big bonuses going to those Wall Street bankers. You know, the guys whose companies we are all bailing out at the moment.

Despite the enormous damage created by the Wall Street failures, we now know Wall Street rewarded itself with $18 billion in bonuses for 2008.

We would normally take this moment to take a shot at them, but frankly, the president did it for us today, and said it pretty well.

President Obama:

"When I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves $20 billion worth of bonuses, the same amount of bonuses they gave themselves in 2004, at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that if they don't provide help that the entire system could come down on top of our heads -- that is the height of irresponsibility.

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"It is shameful. We're going to be having conversations as this process moves forward directly with these folks on Wall Street to underscore that they have to start acting in a more responsible fashion if we are to together get this economy rolling again.

"There will be time for them to make profits and there will be time for them to get bonuses.

"Now is not that time."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Campbell Brown.

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