Bailout Bucks In Hand – Citi Plans $10 Million Office Refurb For Executives

NEW YORK — Citigroup Inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for senior executives, according to a Bloomberg report Thursday. The changes at the bank’s headquarters in New York City will include a new office for Chief Executive Vikram Pandit. The project is made up of 17 private offices, two conference rooms and open areas, reported Bloomberg. Citi told Bloomberg that the refurbishment, which it began planning in June, will save the bank money in the long run.

AIG Bonuses – Senator Dodd Changes Story – Admits White House & Treasury Engineered Bonuses For AIG

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac – New Bailouts In Hand – Announce New Round Of Employee Bonuses – Will This Never End

The Wall Street Journal

MARCH 18, 2009, 4:54 P.M. ET

Bonuses Expected at Fannie, Freddie

More financial companies that are being propped up with federal money are facing political heat over bonus payments to executives.

Fannie Mae is due to pay retention bonuses of as much $470,000 to $611,000 this year to some executives despite enormous losses at the government-backed mortgage company. Fannie’s main rival, Freddie Mac, also plans to pay such bonuses but hasn’t yet provided details.

The Fannie bonuses are still considerable and come at a time when Fannie and Freddie are receiving increasing amounts of funding from the Treasury. For 2008, Fannie and Freddie reported combined losses of about $108 billion,  stemming from a surge in home-mortgage defaults. The U.S. Treasury has agreed to provide as much as $200 billion of capital apiece to Fannie and Freddie in exchange for preferred stock.  [By comparison AIG has received $180 Billion total – less than half the Fannie/Freddie payout] The two companies have said they will need a combined $60 billion of that money to cover their losses so far.

James Lockhart, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, of FHFA, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, said the bonuses they are paying are “critical” to retain people needed to support the mortgage market and work on foreclosure-prevention efforts. [Haven’t we heard this before? The only people who can fix the problem are the ones who created it!] After the companies’ chief executives were ousted in September, “it would have been catastrophic to lose the next layers down and other highly experienced employees,” he said. Mr. Lockhart added that compensation has declined for many employees because other types of bonuses weren’t paid last year and “past stock grants are virtually worthless.” [Lets not forget that the stock is worthless because Fannie & freddie lost 100’s of billions of dollars – bonuses were not paid as Companies that lose hundreds of billions of dollars are “bankrupt” and have no money to pay bonuses. The problem is obvious – the “entitlement philosophy” that assumes employees deserve bonuses even when they bankrupt the company that employs them] 

A recent Fannie securities filing says that Michael Williams, the company’s chief operating officer, is due to receive cash retention awards of $611,000 this year, atop a similar award of $260,000 in 2008. His base salary is $676,000 a year.

The company also disclosed plans to pay retention awards this year of $517,000 to David Hisey and $470,000 each to Thomas Lund and Kenneth Bacon. All three of them are executive vice presidents.

The bonuses this year are to be paid in two installments, one in April and the second in November. Those installments are to be paid only if the executives remain in their posts at the payment dates.

Hundreds of other Fannie employees also are eligible for retention awards, but the company disclosed only the largest of the bonuses. It said there are no plans for a retention bonus for the chief executive officer, Herbert Allison, who elected to serve without any salary or bonus in 2008.

Freddie has a similar retention-bonus plan but hasn’t yet disclosed the amounts due to be paid to its top executives. That disclosure is due by the end of April.

A Government Regulator seized management control of Fannie and Freddie in September under a legal process called conservatorship. That resulted in a crash of the companies’ stock prices to less than $1 as investors concluded that the companies will be unable to pay dividends to common shareholders again for years, if ever, as they struggle to support preferred-stock dividend payments to the Treasury. Until last year, Fannie and Freddie executives were compensated largely in the form of common stock, no longer an appealing option. [Past Executives received payments in excess of $20 Million Dollars a year plus bonuses – leading some of those very same executives to “cook the books” to maximize their bonus payouts while hiding the true financial results of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the very crisis that lead to our current financial collapse].

UAW GOLF COURSE TO BE SUPPORTED WITH BAILOUT CASH

Make UAW Sell its Championship Golf Course Before a Bailout

By EXAMINER EDITORIAL HOT ZONE
12/16/08


A view of the finely groomed Black Lake golf course owned by the UAW. (Michigan Golf)
What do UAW executives and workers do to relax? They play golf at the union’s highly touted championship caliber Black Lake Golf Club, designed by Rees Jones. The UAW golf club is in secluded Onaway, MI, as part of the union’s Walter and Mary Reuther Family Education Center. Also part of Black Lake are a learning center, a practice facility with practice bunkers, chipping and putting greens, and a small, nine-hole par-three Little Course.Golf Digest named Black Lake as one of top “upscale public courses.” And Michigan Golf described the course as a “classic” that includes “wide, well-groomed fairways [that] provide ample room for big hitters.” But some big hitters get special privileges at Black Lake. Tee times can be reserved up to two weeks in advance by UAW execs, compared to only three days for non-UAW duffers. Cost to play Black Lake is $95 per round.

Remember all the much-deserved bad press Detroit’s high-paid Big Three executives received last month when they flew in their corporate jets to beg Washington for a tax-paid bailout? Has anybody in Congress or the media bothered to ask UAW head Ron Gettelfinger about his union’s assets and perks like Black Lake Golf Club?

As head of one of the nation’s most powerful unions, Gettelfinger doesn’t earn nearly as much as Detroit’s top CEOs. GM’s Rick Wagoner, for example, made more than $14 million last year. But Gettelfinger’s total compensation of nearly $160,000 annually far exceeds the U.S. median gross family income of $61,500 and puts him among the top five percent of all tax filers, according to U.S. Census Bureau and IRS data.

And the UAW is anything but poor, with net assets reportedly worth an estimated $1.23 billion. UAW membership has been declining for years, as it has for most major unions, but annual income from member dues, interest and other revenues exceeded $300 million in 2006.  

UPDATE:

Michelle Malkin does some digging and comes up with a bunch more information, including a Detroit News investigation that found the Black Lake course is a big money loser for the UAW.

http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/Should_UAW_Sell_its_Championship_Golf_Course.html

LET YOUR CONGRESSPERSON KNOW WHAT YOU THINK – IS THIS WHAT CONGRESS PROMISED TO SPEND THE BAILOUT CASH ON?

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

$1.6 Billion In Taxpayor TARP Money Paid For Executive Bonuses & Lavish Perks

$1.6 billion went to bailed-out bank execs

Records show bonuses, chauffeurs, health club benefits

updated 2:03 p.m. ET, Sun., Dec. 21, 2008

Banks that are getting taxpayer bailouts awarded their top executives nearly $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and other benefits last year, an Associated Press analysis reveals.

The rewards came even at banks where poor results last year foretold the economic crisis that sent them to Washington for a government rescue. Some trimmed their executive compensation due to lagging bank performance, but still forked over multimillion-dollar executive pay packages.

Benefits included cash bonuses, stock options, personal use of company jets and chauffeurs, home security, country club memberships and professional money management, the AP review of federal securities documents found.

 

The total amount given to nearly 600 executives would cover bailout costs for many of the 116 banks that have so far accepted tax dollars to boost their bottom lines.

 

The AP compiled total compensation based on annual reports that the banks file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 116 banks have so far received $188 billion in taxpayer help. Among the findings:

  • The average paid to each of the banks’ top executives was $2.6 million in salary, bonuses and benefits.
  • Lloyd Blankfein, president and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, took home nearly $54 million in compensation last year. The company’s top five executives received a total of $242 million.
  • Even where banks cut back on pay, some executives were left with seven- or eight-figure compensation that most people can only dream about. Richard D. Fairbank, the chairman of Capital One Financial Corp., took a $1 million hit in compensation after his company had a disappointing year, but still got $17 million in stock options. The McLean, Va.-based company received $3.56 billion in bailout money on Nov. 14.
  • John A. Thain, chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch, topped all corporate bank bosses with $83 million in earnings last year. Thain, a former chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs, took the reins of the company in December 2007, avoiding the blame for a year in which Merrill lost $7.8 billion. Since he began work late in the year, he earned $57,692 in salary, a $15 million signing bonus and an additional $68 million in stock options. Like Goldman, Merrill got $10 billion from taxpayers on Oct. 28.

Banks that got bailout funds also paid out millions for home security systems, private chauffeured cars, and club dues. Some banks even paid for financial advisers. Wells Fargo of San Francisco, which took $25 billion in taxpayer bailout money, gave its top executives up to $20,000 each to pay personal financial planners.

At Bank of New York Mellon Corp., chief executive Robert P. Kelly’s stipend for financial planning services came to $66,748, on top of his $975,000 salary and $7.5 million bonus. His car and driver cost $178,879. Kelly also received $846,000 in relocation expenses, including help selling his home in Pittsburgh and purchasing one in Manhattan, the company said.

Goldman Sachs’ tab for leased cars and drivers ran as high as $233,000 per executive. The firm told its shareholders this year that financial counseling and chauffeurs are important in giving executives more time to focus on their jobs.

JPMorgan Chase chairman James Dimon ran up a $211,182 private jet travel tab last year when his family lived in Chicago and he was commuting to New York. The company got $25 billion in bailout funds.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28337800/page/2/

Let Your Congressperson Know What You Think!  Tell Congress To End The Bailouts Now!

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

 

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