Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup Executives Defend Their Hefty Compensations Following Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Appearing before the U.S. Congress last week, Countrywide Financial CEO and founder Angelo Mozilo, Ex-Citigroup CEO Charles Prince, and Ex-Merrill Lynch Chairman and CEO Stanley O’Neil gave their testimonies to the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform.

The three men say that reports about their compensation are “grossly exaggerated” and that they too have lost millions of dollars from the mortgage debacle. On Thursday, the Congressional issued a report stating that the three men earned $460 million between 2002 and 2006.

All three men say their income from the firms are tied to the profits that the companies made in the years prior to the mortgage crisis and that their company stock has dropped dramatically since then.

Mozilo reportedly stood to earn $115 after Countrywide’s pending sale to Bank of America is completed. He now has agreed to forfeit $37.5 million.

O’Neal received $161 million after stepping down from Merrill Lynch. Prince left Citigroup last November with about $68 million.

Other Wall Street CEO’s that have generated media buzz for their generous compensations:

-Last year, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankenfein received $68 million-the largest bonus ever for an industry head.

-Robert Nardelli, Chrysler Chairman and CEO, took away $210 million in stock options, money, and retirement benefits after being asked to leave Home Depot.

In 2006, 386 Fortune 500 firm chiefs received $10.8 million in compensation.

Shepherd Smith and Edwards represents stockbroker fraud clients that have lost money because of the negligence or misconduct of a member of a securities industry. One of our securities fraud lawyers can discuss your case during a free consultation.

Related Web Resources:

Mortgage mess CEOs defend pay, CNN, March 7, 2008
Congress quizzes financial execs on CEO pay ‘lottery’, USA Today, March 7, 2008
Committee Holds Hearing on CEO Pay and the Mortgage Crisis, House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform