Bailed-Out Bank Execs Made $1.6B Last Year

Execs made average of $2.6 million; Merrill Lynch CEO made $83 million
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2008 3:45 PM CST
Bailed-Out Bank Execs Made $1.6B Last Year
Six financial firms that received billions in bailout dollars own and operate fleets of jets for executive travel.   (AP Photo)

Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an AP analysis reveals. Benefits at bailed-out institutions like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and JPMorgan Chase included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships, and professional money management.

The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Barney Frank, the House Financial Services committee chair and a long-standing critic of executive largesse, said the bonuses amount to a bribe "to get them to do the jobs for which they are well paid in the first place.” (Read more Wall Street bailout stories.)

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