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Pre-Bailout, Bankers Swam in Sea of Bennies

A new report shows that executives of banks that got federal bailout money received $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses and other compensation last year.
The Associated Press report notes that:

  • The average total compensation to such executives was $2.6 million.
  • Last year, Lloyd Blankfein, president and CEO of Goldman Sachs got almost $54 million in compensation although he and six other top execs will forego bonuses this year.
  • Richard D. Fairbank, chairman of Capital One Financial, did not get $1 million of his compensation but still came away with $17 million in stock options.
  • John A. Thain, CEO of soon-to-be-bought-out Merrill Lynch got $83 million in earnings last year. This year, his request for a bonus was denied.
  • Wells Fargo gave its top execs up to $20,000 each for personal financial planners.
  • JP Morgan Chase chairman James Dimon expensed $211,182 in private jet bills flying from his home in Chicago to Manhattan.
The AP report does not make it very clear that a lot of these expenses occurred before the banks tapped part of the $700 billion federal bailout. But it shows what the norm was in what has proved to be a deeply troubled sector.
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