SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Top Wall Street executives reacted harshly on Friday to proposed legislation that would punitively tax bonuses awarded to employees at firms receiving federal assistance.
Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Vikram Pandit and Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Ken Lewis issued strongly worded internal memos about the proposed tax legislation, according to the online edition of The Wall Street Journal, while J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon sought to reassure his top executives that the firm is engaging with lawmakers on the matter.
The legislation, passed by the House on Thursday, would impose a 90% tax on bonuses for employees making over $250,000 a year at companies receiving at least $5 billion in federal aid under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
Citi’s Pandit criticized the proposed legislation in a memo to employees on Friday, arguing that it could result in the firm losing top talent.
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From The Huffington Post:
While you read this, Alaska’s First Dude, Todd Palin, is riding a snowmobile — I’m sorry, snow machine — 1971 miles from Big Lake to Fairbanks. In the course of performing this awesome feat, his Arctic Cat’s powerful two-stroke engine will emit the same amount of hydrocarbons as an automobile driving from Chicago to San Francisco and back 150 times.
A small price for the rest of us to pay to honor the indomitability of the human spirit and one man’s ability to sit and hold on.
There will be no worries about regifting in the financial sector this year! Just in time for Christmas, Santa Paulson has presents for banks, no matter if they have been naughty or nice! From The Washington Post:
The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration’s request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.
But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.
The story of the obscure provision underscores what critics in Congress, academia and the legal profession warn are the dangers of the broad authority being exercised by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. in addressing the financial crisis. Lawmakers are now looking at whether the new notice was introduced to benefit specific banks, as well as whether it inappropriately accelerated bank takeovers.