The timing couldn't be better. With the Obama administration readying new compensation guidelines for certain financial companies, Forbes reported Tuesday that Citigroup hasn't stopped the pre-recession era practice of offering millions to tempt new hires.
Specifically, Forbes points to two London-based bankers, both formerly of Morgan Stanley, who reportedly received guaranteed payouts of $3 million to join Citi. The beleaguered bank defended its pay practices to Forbes, saying that bonuses help preserve long-term profitability.
Last year, as the economy crumbled, Wall Street paid out $18.4 billion in bonuses, which drew the ire of President Obama and a sharp public backlash. In January President Obama called the payouts "the height of irresponsibility."
On Monday, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration is set to announce a broad set of rules for financial companies that have received two rounds of funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
As the NYT reported, Citi is just one bailed out corporate behemoth that may soon face new pay restrictions:
"Citigroup, Bank of America, the American International Group, General Motors and its finance arm, GMAC, which all received two taxpayer infusions, will face the strictest scrutiny from the new federal official charged with vetting compensation, Kenneth R. Feinberg. He is known for overseeing payouts to the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."
Read Forbes' full story on Citi's recent bonuses.