Subprime Lender CEOs Defend Exec Pay

Merrill, Citi and Countrywide honchos cashed in as companies foundered
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2008 3:50 PM CST
Financial bosses raise their right hands as they are sworn in during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 7, 2008, in Washington. The committee is examining...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Banking executives who took home huge paychecks even as the subprime mortgage crisis battered their companies appeared before Congress today to defend their actions. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee grilled them about their enormous pay packages as Republicans apologized to them and questioned the premise of the hearing, the New York Times reports.

Stanley O’Neal of Merrill Lynch and Charles Prince of Citgroup—both of whom lost their jobs and received 8-figure severance packages—and Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, who has made over $400 million in his current post, argued that reports of their compensation were overblown and that they earned their salaries, reports the Wall Street Journal. "As our company did well, I did well," Mozilo testified.