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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018
AFL-CIO 2010 Executive PayWatch Catalogs CEO Pay, Exposes Wall Street’s Efforts Against Meaningful Financial Reform
New, Comprehensive Database of Executive Compensation www.paywatch.org
WASHINGTON - April 13 - After triggering a financial meltdown that caused historic job losses and required a taxpayer bailout, big banks said they had learned their lesson. Instead, they paid out $145 billion in total 2009 compensation, spent millions of dollars lobbying against meaningful financial reform and have cut back on lending to consumers and small businesses, according to a new online database and case studies released today by the AFL-CIO. First launched in 1997, this year's AFL-CIO 2010 Executive PayWatch exposes the egregious compensation and lobbying efforts against reform from the 'big 6' Wall Street banks: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.
"This report makes clear that Wall Street has still not gotten the message: Hard-working Americans will not be their ATMs," said Richard Trumka, president of the 11.5 million-member AFL-CIO. "For those at the top, it's business as usual and worse. Bank executives who took massive taxpayer bailouts are now pouring money into lobbying on financial reform. It's time for Congress to enact real financial regulatory reform and make Wall Street pay to create the jobs they destroyed."
Wielding more lobbyists than there are members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the banking industry spent a total of $50 million lobbying Congress in 2009. The 'big 6' banks profiled in 2010 PayWatch spent nearly half of that.
Bank of America Corp., the nation's largest bank, received $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout money. Less than a year after receiving taxpayer funds, Bank of America began lobbying on new regulations – spending $3,680,000 in 2009. Thomas Montag, president of global banking and markets, received $30 million in 2009 compensation while retiring CEO Ken Lewis stands to collect about $83 million in retirement.
Goldman Sachs freed itself of government oversight by repaying $10 billion to TARP, only to pay out more than $16 billion in 2009 compensation and benefits – about $500,000 per employee. Goldman Sachs also wields one of the largest financial lobbying teams, boasting 29 lobbyists, and spending $2,830,000 in 2009 alone.
Citigroup Inc. received $45 billion in TARP, and the U.S. government is its largest shareholder. It employs the largest amount of lobbyists of any financial industry company (46), and spent $5,560,000 for lobbying expenses in 2009.
Morgan Stanley paid out $14.4 billion in 2009 compensation and benefits, an increase from the previous fiscal year. Mirroring that increase, its lobbying expenses increased 15 percent, boosting it to $2.88 million in 2009.
JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon oppose the creation of a separate agency devoted to consumer financial protection and believe that a systemic risk regulator should be controlled by the Federal Reserve. In 2009 JP Morgan Chase boosted its lobbying expenses 13 percent to $6.2 million – enough to pay for 30 lobbyists.
Wells Fargo & Co. paid off $25 billion in TARP loans to end government oversight of its executive compensation and then paid its CEO $21.3 million – the highest of any financial industry executive. Lobbying on a number of regulatory reforms, it increased expenses 27 percent to $2.9 million in 2009.
The AFL-CIO and its community affiliate Working America are engaged in an unprecedented grassroots campaign to win good jobs and make Wall Street pay to create them. In recent weeks, the AFL-CIO has held 200 events outside branches of the 'big 6' banks.
On April 29th more than10,000 people are expected to converge on Wall Street for a major protest.
Working America recently launched an "I am not your ATM" (www.notyouratm.com) campaign to fight for financial reform. In total, Working America will be speaking to 1.5 million people this year at their homes on job creation and the economy.
"People are angry and won't stand for inaction on financial reform. Just as Main Street already paid for Wall Street's greed, now working people are letting big banks and Congress know that payment is past due on the harm they've caused," said Working America executive director Karen Nussbaum.