Journal Writes, Journal Gets Results

It was just yesterday that we saw the WSJ’s impressive effort tracking down the bonus babies at Merrill Lynch, who got more than $10 million each in 2008 while their firm lost $28 billion.

Yesterday, the New York Attorney General subpoenaed seven of these* executives to help his investigation into whether the bonuses were illegal. Today the Journal takes a deserved victory lap on C1.

This is what can happen when the Journal throws its weight around and regulators, you know, regulate.

UPDATE: The WSJ’s Deal Journal blog has a very interesting post on Andrea Orcel, one of the seven* mentioned above, who got a $34 million bonus last year, claiming he raked in $550 million in investment-banking fees for Merrill.

Heidi N. Moore’s eyes popped at that amount, so she runs some numbers and finds that even if Orcel had been lead adviser on every one of the top ten deals last year, that would only have brought in $337 million. (A technical quibble: Why doesn’t Deal Journal have bylines on their posts?)

(* corrected from original version, which said eleven got subpoenas)

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.