Annals of pay transparency, BofA edition

By Felix Salmon
September 1, 2009
Not.

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Bank of America is negotiating with Treasury (ie taxpayers): it wants to pay a few hundred million dollars to get out from under the most intense government oversight, and it wants to set a new pay scheme, involving something called “phantom stock units”, at the same time. Naturally, it’s happy to share with taxpayers (and its own shareholders) all the details of this scheme. Not.

A bank spokesman declined to discuss details of the pay package but said “it is important to see the package in its entirety to understand the total thrust of what we are doing.”

This kind of arrogance is endemic to big banks, and unfortunately Treasury seems to have no problem with it. As ever, the people who ultimately pay for these things — shareholders and taxpayers — are left out in the cold, while Important Men in Suits work everything out behind closed doors. Depressing.

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