House Hits High Bonuses at Strapped Companies

Fat cats to face executive pay hearing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2008 7:53 AM CST
Angelo Mozilo, Chairman and CEO, Countrywide Financial Corp. speaks during a panel discussion on the subprime market fallout Monday, Oct. 29, 2007, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mozilo is to face a House committee...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A House committee wants to know why the CEOs of three companies mired in the subprime crisis collected massive bonuses as their firms bled billions, AP reports. The targets include Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Countrywide, all of which posted stunning losses last year. Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo and the former CEOS of Merrill and Citigroup, Stanley O'Neal and Charles Prince, will be on the hot seat. O'Neal and Prince were fired, but pocketed hefty payouts on the way out.

Henry Waxman's committee has been probing the issue of executive pay levels for months—some say outside its legal authority. The committee's top Republican questioned the need for the hearing. "A sanctimonious search for scapegoats may feel good, but it benefits no one," he said. "It's always easy to blame people with a lot of money."