A quirky Connecticut art collector might get a rather lofty $100 million bonus from Citigroup if the country’s pay czar approves the plan.
The problem is that Citigroup is one of seven companies to receive a government bailout, so pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, the guy appointed to oversee compensation at the bailed-out banks, must decide whether Citigroup can pay the bonus.
The man at the center of the bailout bonus brouhaha is Andrew Hall, a Southport man and CEO of the reportedly secretive Westport-based energy-trading firm Phibro LLC, which operates out of a former Connecticut dairy farm, according to news reports.
Citigroup has given Hall $100 million bonuses before and it is considering doing so again because the banking “rock star” is threatening to leave Citigroup if he does not get a big check, the Wall Street Journal reports.
And that would be bad for Citigroup.
Hall does not seem to need the cash. He owns a castle in Germany and has one enormous piece of art that caused a bit of a ruckus in Southport, when he commissioned a six-ton, 80-foot-long sculpture of concrete and steel on his front lawn.
Hall has apparently made a lot of money for the company through Phibro, the News Times reports.
His little company was the main source of the $667 million Citigroup received in commodities trading, the Wall Street Journal reported.
So, some worry that not paying $100 million could cost Citigroup that money, according to This Is Money, a British Web site.
The man who must make the ultimate decision is Kenneth Feinberg, the new pay czar appointed to oversee compensation at the bailed-out banks. Feinberg will be deciding whether Hall deserves the cash.
The Treasury Department is requiring companies that received "exceptional" government aid to submit their compensation plans by August, Reuters said.
Feinberg's boss made it pretty clear Tuesday when the White House criticized the pay plan as “out of whack,” Reuters reports.