On Feb. 4, we asked HuffPost readers to send us tips if they knew of wasteful spending by banks that had benefited from taxpayer funds through the TARP program.
Our readers came up big, delivering audio of Morgan Stanley co-president James Gorman telling financial advisers on an internal conference call that "very generous" retention awards would paid to execs who stayed on through a merger with Citigroup's Smith Barney. Gorman explained that the award -- "Please do not call it a bonus," he said -- would be based on 2008 performance.
"I think I can hear you clapping from here in New York," Gorman joked during the call, after announcing that the payments would be linked to '08 performance. "You should be clapping because frankly that is a very generous and thoughtful decision that we have made. We spent a lot of time kicking this around. We could easily have done it from the point of closing, which is obviously going to be somewhere in the latter half of this year or around the middle of the year. But we just decided... that it was right thing to do, to give you that certainty that it would be based off '08. '09 is a very difficult year... So that degree of anxiety, which many, many of you have emailed me about... is now off the table."
This story created a stir that was subsequently reported in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and more -- and it wouldn't have come to light without the help of HuffPost readers. So please, keep the tips coming.
If you're aware of wasteful or unnecessary spending or instances that call into question the use of TARP funds, please let us know. Tell us what you see and know, what you are hearing in the office or on the street by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity is, of course, guaranteed.
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