In the wake of the financial meltdown, President Barack Obama derided Wall Street bonuses as “obscene,” calling them examples of “fat cats who are getting awarded for their failure.”
But now, Mr. Obama has announced that he will nominate as his next Treasury secretary Jack Lew, a man who in 2009 bagged a $950,000 bonus after his bank, Citigroup, received billions in a taxpayer-funded bailout.
Mr. Lew is the former chief operating officer of Citigroup’s Alternative Investments unit–a group that bet billions against homeowners paying their mortgages.
As the Huffington Post reported in 2010, during Mr. Lew’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director confirmation, “neither the Senate’s Budget Committee nor its Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee bothered to ask a single question about Lew’s tenure at Citigroup, transcripts of the proceedings show.”
In total, Citigroup received $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees.
Citigroup claims taxpayers made a profit on the bailout and says Mr. Lew “was not responsible for investments or fund management.”
But how can Mr. Obama allow a Wall Street “fat cat” who received an “obscene” $950,000 bonus to be rewarded with the top job at Treasury?