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Vikram Pandit Receives Massive Bonus While Citigroup Slashes Jobs

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 03/ 9/2012 12:35 pm Updated: 03/ 9/2012 12:35 pm

Vikram Pandit Bonus
Citi CEO Vikram Pandit speaks during Citibank's new high-tech banking center opening in New York's Union Square, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010. (AP)

In a common refrain, a high-level executive is getting a big bonus while his employees receive pink slips. Only this time, it's happening on Wall Street.

Vikram Pandit, chief executive of Citigroup, the nation's third largest bank, is receiving $14.9 million in compensation for his work in 2011, according to The Wall Street Journal. Nine-tenths of Pandit's pay comes from his bonus -- the CEO's first since 2008 -- which includes $7.8 million in stock options and $5.3 million in cash.

Pandit is being rewarded for making his company profitable again, and that includes plans to cut thousands of workers. Citigroup says it plans to lay off 4,500 employees in the immediate future.

But despite its profitability, Citigroup stock hasn't been performing well. Though the company's profit rose 6 percent last year, according to Reuters, its stock price plunged 44.4 percent, according to Google Finance.

Pandit worked for $1 per year with no bonus in 2009 and 2010 as the bank struggled to return to profitability after receiving a government bailout.

Pandit's Citigroup is stopping short of nothing to raise revenue. The bank announced earlier this week that it will use IBM's "Watson" supercomputer to "analyze customer needs" and "personalize digital banking." Citigroup also plans to charge $10 monthly fees, on combined checking and savings accounts with a balance of less than $1,500.

Still, in comparison to many of his peers, Pandit has more overtly sympathized with the frustrations of everyday Americans. He said on Wednesday that more financial regulation was necessary after the financial crisis, according to The New York Times. In addition, Pandit said in October that the sentiments of the Occupy Wall Street protestors are "completely understandable."

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, took home roughly $23 million in 2011 and has been less charitable toward critics and new financial regulations. He said in February that he was safer in Lebanon than he was with Occupy Wall Street protestors. He also recently declared journalist pay "just damned outrageous."

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