Top bank officials at Citigroup and Morgan Stanley meeting to figure out ways to skirt compensation limits

Wonder what is taking up the time of top officials at banks rescued with your tax dollars? You’d like to think they’re all hunkered down trying to solve the crisis they created with help from George Bush and the GOP. According to Reuters, avoiding the salary caps is a top priority right now:

Anticipating restrictions on bonuses, officials at Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley are exploring ways to sidestep tough new federal caps on compensation, the Wall Street Journal said.

Executives at these banks and other financial institutions that received government aid are discussing increasing base salaries for some executives and other top-producing employees, the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation.

The discussions are at an early stage, partly because the government has not yet issued specific rules on the bonus payments that will be allowed at companies that received aid under the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, the paper said.

Seriously, these people are tone deaf. They do not realize how hated they are in America right now. And, they aren’t doing anything to ameliorate the situation. Instead, they’re making it worse.

According to that same recent Congressional testimony, Citigroup got $45 billion in TARP funds while Morgan Stanley got $10 billion in TARP funds. Here’s the video:
Citigroup has another big problem on its hands, as Think Progress asks “Did Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit lie to Congress about his compensation?” In that video above, Pandit told a Congressional committee, under oath, that his salary in 2008 was $1 million with no bonus. But, the actual total appears to be well over $10 million:

The $10.82 million in total compensation for 2008 consisted of $7.73 million in sign-on and retention awards, a $958,333 salary, $9.84 million of stock and option awards and $16,193 of other compensation.

Given everything else we’ve learned about the ineptitude of our top bankers, it’s possible Pandit doesn’t know the difference between one million and almost eleven million. Possible, but not likely.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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