Some of the largest financial institutions in the United States, including CIT Group (NYSE: CIT), Comerica (NYSE: CMA) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) have increased the value of perks being paid to their CEOs while receiving taxpayer funded bailout money, according to the Washington Post.
For Example, the CEOs of Bank of American and CIT group each received over $100,000 for personal use on corporate jets. Comerica’s CEO was given over $200,000 for dues at a country club and the CEO of GMAC tapped into $2.5 million worth of bailout money to address his personal tax problems with the IRS.
According to the report, the average CEO at the largest bailed-out financial institutions received just under $400,000 perks during 2008 alone. While American taxpayers were being hit hard by the recession, bank executives were living large on taxpayer subsidies.
Some have criticized the bailouts for a lack of accountability at the banks. Consumer Advocate, Clark Howard even goes as far as saying, “We should have seized control, rehabbed the entities and sold them to new stockholders. Yet we let the incumbents stay on and the existing stockholders get the benefit of the bailout.”
The Treasury Department’s “Pay Czar” is hoping to rein top executives’ compensation packages at some of the largest bailed out banks. He has even gone so far to request that Bank of America’s CEO, Kenneth Lewis, accept a 2009 salary of $0.00. Feinberg has been in negotiations with bailed-out banks and has come to an agreement to cut many top executives pay by up to 90%.