Citigroup trader's $100 million pay deal highlights executive comp dilemma

Andrew Hall, the head of Citigroup's (C) Phibro energy trading unit, wants the company to honor a previously-agreed upon compensation package that could pay him $100 million for his work in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports. If the estimate is correct, it would harken back to the halcyon days of 2007 and then some, when even Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein received just $70 million for steering his firm to more than $11 billion in profits.

One important difference in such comparisons, of course, is that Goldman Sachs has repaid its government capital and is turning in profits, while Citigroup as a whole has lost tens of billions of dollars and is now a ward of (and 34 percent owned by) the U.S. government. The incident raises a host of questions about contract law and the increasingly messy interactions between politics and private business.