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Bailed-Out Wall Street CEOs Still Leasing Private Jets, Hoping To Keep Up To $1.5 Million In Salary This Year

By Satyam Khanna on February 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm

"Bailed-Out Wall Street CEOs Still Leasing Private Jets, Hoping To Keep Up To $1.5 Million In Salary This Year"

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In November, Big Three automaker CEOs were ridiculed by Congress for taking private jets to Washington to plea for a federal bailout. Subsequently, the CEOs quickly curbed their jet travel.

Wall Street execs seem not to have learned the lesson. In a House Financial Services Committee hearing today, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) asked bailed-out bank CEOs if their companies still “own or lease” private planes. Only one (Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankenfein) out of eight did not raise his hand:

SHERMAN: I’d like you to raise your hand if your company currently owns or leases a private plane. Let the record reflect that all the hands went up except the gentleman from Goldman Sachs. Gentleman, we know that it’s extremely expensive to operate the planes. You could sell them and generate capital for your company, and that capital could be used to repay taxpayers immediately.

“The big show of not buying one particular new plane flies in the face of how you are really flying,” Sherman scolded the CEOs, likely referring to Citigroup’s recently scrapped plans to take a $50 million corporate jet. Watch it:

The CEOs also disclosed that several of the them are still being generously compensated. While all said they gave up their bonuses, all except one earned between $600,000 and $1.5 million in salary last year.

Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) asked the CEOs if they planned on retaining the following salaries in 2009. All indicated that they would. Notably, Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit said that he would keep a $1 per year salary until his bank became profitable again:

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: $850,000
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit: $1
Morgan Stanely CEO John Mack: $800,000
State Street Corp. CEO Ronald Logue: $1 million
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis: $1.5 million
Bank of New York CEO Robert Kelly: $1 miillion
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon: $1 million
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankenfein: $600,000

Wells Fargo’s Stumpf had some trouble remembering his salary. “My compensation in 2008, I’m embarrassed, I think it was 850 — I can’t remember the exact number. Let’s say $850,000,” he said.

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