Let Citi workers eat their own dog food


Poor Citigroup (C)! The U.S. government has given it $351 billion -- including a $306 billion loan loss guarantee and $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) cash -- but after losing $28 billion in 2008, it's not enough. That's because Citi thinks its 309,000 employees, who lost an average of $90,615 each, deserve nice big bonuses. But as a condition of that $45 billion in TARP money, Citi can't pay them as much as it would like.

So what does Citi propose? Giving its workers sales commissions. This is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin. I'll start here: If Citi pays a banker or broker to close lots of big deals, then its customers had better watch out. That's because Citi's cash hungry workers will push hard to sell you anything they can -- regardless of whether it makes money for you or not. This will encourage more of the bad banker behavior that got us into this mess.