(12/15/09) Rewarding Failure
The CEOs of 10 Wall Street firms that either failed or received taxpayer bailouts were paid an average of $28.9 million per year in the years leading up to the Wall Street meltdown, according to a Public Citizen report. Their average pay this decade, calculated through 2007, equaled 575 times the median American family’s 2007 income.
“Fat cat compensation has nothing to do with good corporate performance,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said. “These CEOs were exorbitantly compensated for driving their companies off the cliff. At a minimum, Congress must ensure that corporate leaders are paid for long-term performance, not short-term illusions.”
(12/8/09) Investments in the Opponents of Reform
Representatives sponsoring two amendments that would weaken critical consumer protections in financial reform legislation have received at least $2.3 million from the financial services sector since the beginning of 2009, according to Public Citizen’s analysis of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Since the beginning of 2009, organizations in the financial services sector – including banks, investment firms, insurance companies and real estate companies – have commissioned 940 former federal employees as federal lobbyists, Public Citizen’s analysis of data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org) shows.
As Congress considers legislation to reregulate the financial services industry in response to the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the industry is focusing campaign contributions on the congressional leadership and members of the committees crafting reform legislation.
Lobbyists, political action committees (PACs) and trade associations tied to the banks receiving the most federal bailout money have scheduled 70 fundraisers for members of Congress since Election Day and have made $6 million in federal campaign contributions, according to a Public Citizen report.