By Caren Bohan and Jonathan Stempel
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The White House and and New York’s top prosecutor attacked excessive Wall Street bonuses, as the nation’s biggest banks prepare to hand out awards critics say were made possible by taxpayer bailouts.
A senior U.S. official also confirmed President Barack Obama is considering a fee on financial services firms as part of the fiscal 2011 budget he will unveil in February.
The proposal reflects tougher approach the White House is taking toward Wall Street as it faces rising political heat over its support for the $700 billion financial bailout begun in the Bush administration.
Amid reports of some bank payouts that could average hundreds of thousands of dollars each, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said some Wall Street executives “continue not to get it” when it comes to big bonuses at bailed-out companies.
Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asked the first eight banks to receive bailout money under the government’s much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program to turn over data on expected bonus payouts in 2009.