Monday, February 25, 2013

How to buy the Secretary of the Treasury

Obama, Lew
You might think that buying a top cabinet official might require subtlety.  It doesn't.  Citigroup shows how it can be done right out in the open.   While companies often offer bonuses to retain their best employees, Citigroup did the opposite: when Citibank hired Jack Lew, it offered him almost a million dollar bonus on the condition that he leave Citigroup for a high level Federal job.  Wall Street on Parade reports:
At last we know how the grease is funneled to that revolving door between Wall Street and Washington. One only gets a $940,000 bonus from Wall Street’s Citigroup if you can land a “full time high level position with the United States Government or a regulatory body.” It can’t be just a part-time job, mind you; and you can’t be rank and file. Citigroup’s dangling carrot will only pay $940,000 if the company can add a “high level” government mover and shaker to their gold-plated Rolodex.

This was the bombshell dropped by Senator Orrin Hatch yesterday in Jack Lew’s confirmation hearing for one of the highest offices in the land – Secretary of the U.S. Treasury who will also head the body that makes critical decisions impacting Citigroup – the Financial Stability Oversight Council. (Lew held an executive position with Citigroup at the time of its collapse.)
At Bloomberg,  Jonathan Weil has more details.

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