Obama's top Trans-Pacific Partnership officials were given millions by banks before taking the job

The top Obama administration officials working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership came to government from investment banks who will benefit immensely from its provisions, which severely curtail countries' ability to pass laws regulating banks and other corporations. These top advisors, who came from Bank of America and Citigroup, were given multimillion-dollar exit bonuses when they left their employers for government. For example, the US Trade Representative, Michael Froman, was handed $4M from Citigroup as a goodbye gift on his way into his new job.

This is standard operating procedure for America's financial industry, where the largest players all have contracts guaranteeing millions to employees who leave the firm for government jobs.

Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.

Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection to his holdings in two investment funds, which was awarded “in recognition of [Froman's] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”

Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs within the government. CitiGroup, for instance, provides an executive contract that awards additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, and Northrop Grumman are among the other firms that offer financial rewards upon retirement for government service.

Obama Admin's TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks [Lee Fang/Republic Report]

See also: Comic book explains why the Transpacific Partnership serves no one but the ultra-rich

Notable Replies

  1. so, that's pinhead's origin story...

  2. dacree says:

    Let's go back to the good old 40's and 50's when America was prosperous, jobs plentiful, and minimum wage would support a family of 3. In other words, let's tax anyone earning over $2.3 mil ($200K in 1950's dollars adjusted to today's dollars) a year at 91% instead of the 39.6% we currently tax them.

    Or, if that's too much, how about the good old Reagan era of greed and conspicuous consumption and tax them at 70%?

  3. Americans must love corruption, because they continue to vote for the politicians who provide it. The simple answer here is don't vote for one of the parties that's already established as being corrupt. I call that "wasting your vote". However, most of you will continue to vote that way, anyway, and say I'm "wasting my vote" for voting for change. You get what you vote for, so if you voted either Republican or Democratic last time, quit whining.

  4. Is this a government corruption story, or a bank executive story? It sounds like the Obama administration hired these people, and they all had "resignation bonuses" from the banks they worked at.

    It sounds like a pretty stupid bonus, but I don't know how much influence the government has over removing these contract terms in private (or publicly owned) corporations.

  5. The government can't remove the contract terms, but they can specify that anybody who has benefited / will benefit from such a contract is automatically disqualified from the positions the seek. Don't see why you'd say they are a stupid bonus; from the perspective of those paying them, they are very effective bribes investments.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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