With the financial system on the verge of collapse in late 2008, a group of troubled banks doled out more than $2 billion in bonuses and other payments to their highest earners. Now, the federal authority on banker pay says that nearly 80 percent of that sum was unmerited.
In a report to be released on Friday, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Obama administration’s special master for executive compensation, is expected to name 17 financial companies that made questionable payouts totaling $1.58 billion immediately after accepting billions of dollars of taxpayer aid, according to two government officials with knowledge of his findings who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the report.
The group includes Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs [GS 147.66 1.11 (+0.76%) ], JPMorgan Chase [JPM 39.76 0.41 (+1.04%) ] and the American International Group [AIG 36.8693 0.3793 (+1.04%) ] as well as small lenders like Boston Private Financial Holdings [BPFH 7.00 0.15 (+2.19%) ]. Mr. Feinberg’s report points to companies that he says paid eye-popping amounts or used haphazard criteria for awarding bonuses, the people with knowledge of his findings said, and he has singled out Citigroup [C 4.03 -0.06 (-1.47%) ] as the biggest offender.
Millions of Americans suffered because of the financial games the banks played. We bailed them out. And, now, they're laughing all the way to the bank. These banksters need to be held accountable. We must continue to push for reform.