CIT paid huge retention bonuses

CIT Group (CIT), which is facing likely bankruptcy, paid retention bonuses to 40 executives and key employees -- including two named officers in January -- that vest 100 percent after two years, according to the New York-based company's latest proxy statement.

"Going into 2009, our guiding compensation philosophy has been to provide a total pay package that motivates our named executive officers to achieve our short-term and long-term business goals," CIT said. "To sustain our performance, we need to retain our existing talent and to attract individuals to our key leadership positions."