Wells Fargo Chief Makes $21.3 Million
Welcome to the world after TARP repayment, and less than two years after the credit crisis nearly brought the U.S. banking system to it knees.
The Wells Fargo board might argue that its CEO posted strong-enough results for the firm's stock to be up 250% during the last year, but that's no better the the improvement in Citigroup's (C) shares, and well below the run-up in Bank of America (BAC). Advocates of Stumpf's pay package might argue that he deserves his compensation simply because Wells Fargo is still around and several other large banks and investment banks are not.
The Obama administration and Congress are still considering significant restrictions on bank activity, including the Volcker rule, which would sharply limit proprietary trading. If bank executives had taken more modest pay, that doesn't necessarily mean politicians wouldn't be as aggressive in "punishing" financial firms with greater oversight. But paying a bank CEO $21 million certainly doesn't help.