In the summer of 2009, the U.S. Attorney General published a list according to which Citigroup Inc., headquartered in New York and active worldwide, received USD 45 billion in direct government aid; in addition, the government assumed various guarantees to secure deposits of just over USD 300 billion made with the bank by customers. – In 2008, the bank posted a loss of USD 27.7 billion. At the same time, however, USD 5.3 billion in bonuses were paid out. There were – 124 employees benefiting from bonuses exceeding the amount of USD 3 million. – For 176 employees, the bonus still exceeded USD 2 million, and – 738 employees received at least USD 1 million in bonus payments. – Citigroup’s top four earners combined for $44 million in bonuses, – the bank’s next ten top earners combined for $87 million. – The Attorney General pointed out that the other eight institutions investigated by his office were only slightly better off. – The report triggered outrage in the U.S., and probably rightly so, because some of the taxpayers’ money went directly into the bankers’ wallets; and because bonuses were paid even when there was nothing to reward, and even bonuses were contractually guaranteed regardless of personal performance characteristics. This was seen as an aberration not only of the terms – bonus ultimately meant outstanding performance – but also of the mental attitude at the leading banks. – See banker, bonus, financial sodomite, sleeping money, executive pay.
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