No bonuses for those who need taxpayer money to stay afloat!

Pardon me if I don't feel sorry for the executives who aren't getting bonuses after they required taxpayer money to keep them afloat. How heartless of me. But something in me says that wealthy CEOs who run their companies into the ground and need to pick my pocket to stay in business shouldn't be rewarded for that.

Today's news is that the CEO and chairman of Citigroup aren't getting bonuses for 2008. And that's news why? Seriously. If you need to steal money from taxpayers, then you don't deserve a bonus, period. There should be no "news" that you're going without a bonus.

Maybe the more "newsy" part of this story should be that all the other top executives at Citigroup are still getting bonuses. Yes, that's right. They won't be as big as they have been in the past, but they'll still get bonuses. Citigroup's handout courtesy of the taxpayers currently stands at $45 billion. And hundreds of billions of dollars of losses are basically going to be covered by the taxpayers somewhere down the road. Not a bad handout, if you can get it.

For the year ended December 31, 2007, Citigroup paid out a total of $85.1 million in bonuses. For the top executives, bonuses ranged from $1.3 million to $14 million. You figure out what "reduced" bonuses might look like for them this time around. And this is how taxpayer money is spent at companies that made poor business decisions and deserve to go under because of it....

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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