You know what really aggravates me? Well, how about when we all seem to be working together as a nation to get our economy back on track — which means we all tighten our belts, we all give up a few things here and there, we all do what we have to do — and then I find out some people are still getting ahead. Yes, this while the rest of us struggle and scrimp.
I am an employee of the State of Maryland, which is a pretty responsible state in all ways, spends its money wisely and in general has a growing and positive economy. But just like every other state, we’re facing financial difficulties these days. So even though I do my job and work hard and am successful at what I do, I was asked to take two furlough days (i.e., days without pay), and to forgo any salary increase or cost of living increase in my current salary for the coming year. We are all doing that where I work, and throughout the state.
So here’s what aggravates me, when I read this:
Citigroup Inc., soon to be one-third owned by the U.S. government, is asking the Treasury for permission to pay special bonuses to many key employees, according to people familiar with the matter.
The request comes as Citigroup is grappling with broad government pay restrictions that could break apart its legendary energy-trading unit. People at that unit, Phibro, are threatening to leave because of pay caps tied to the U.S. bailout of Citigroup. Phibro has been the source of hundreds of millions of dollars in profits for the bank, and has paid out hefty compensation, including a roughly $100 million windfall …
The justification these employees give? Phibro is the one unit at Citigroup that is doing well. Well newsflash! There are a lot of us who have been “doing well” who are not getting “hefty compensation.” And are we “threatening to leave”? Honestly, in the history of crass career moves — has there ever been an emptier threat than that? I mean, where will they go? To one of the many other successful financial institutions in this country? Please!
Let me be clear, I’m all for everyone being well compensated for work well done. But this is not the time to be making idle threats and elbowing your way in for a bigger piece of a tiny little pie. Not when the rest of us are doing our part. These people want to pretend that they are not a part of the bigger system, but they are. Once Citigroup took federal money to stay afloat, these Citi employees became a small part of a larger entity — just like little ‘ol me the state employee. Welcome to the real world, my Citi friends!