Outlandish bonuses, funded by We, the Taxpayers

Seventeen banks that were receiving federal bailout money, funded by We, the Taxpayers, gave their executives $1.6 billion in bonuses for their job well done,  Treasury Department pay czar Kenneth Feinberg announced today. Yup. We, the Taxpayers, showered these Wall Street execs with $1.6 billion for crashing the financial sector and our economy.

Feinberg analyzed data from the 419 companies that received bailout money before pay curbs were enacted by Congress in February 2009.

From the Reuters story:

“There were 17 companies where the payments that were made during this window of about five months … were ill-advised,” Feinberg told reporters at a press conference.

“They weren’t illegal, they violated no statute, they violated no regulation,” he said, adding they reflected “bad judgment” but could not be termed “contrary to the public interest.”

and:

“If the company’s board of directors has identified that the firm is in a crisis situation, the compensation committee would have the authority to restructure, reduce or cancel pending payments to executives — and this authority would supersede any rights and entitlements executives have in normal circumstances,” Feinberg said.

Feinberg will be speaking about these executive bonuses, as well as his work managing BP’s $20 billion escrow fund, at Public Citizen (1600 20th St. NW, Washington, D.C.) this coming Tuesday, July 27 from 12:30-1:30. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP by emailing bholzer@citizen.org.

Learn more about Public Citizen’s work on executive bonuses, and sign the petition to tax them.