Cuomo keeping a close eye on Wall Street firms

By John O'Brien | Oct 30, 2008


ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - American International Group won't be the only bailout beneficiary being watched by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The first-term Democrat sent letters to several Wall Street firms Wednesday asking for a detailed accounting of expected bonus payments to top executives. Cuomo told AIG earlier this month that it must stop paying large expenditures like a $15 million retirement package and $5 million bonus to the CEO that put the company in a position to ask for the recent federal bailout.

Cuomo's Wednesday letter was sent to Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo.

"As my office has told AIG, now that the American taxpayer has provided substantial funds to your firm, the preservation of those funds is a vital obligation of your company," Cuomo wrote.

"Taxpayers are in many ways now like shareholders of your company, and your firm has a responsibility to them."

Cuomo is also asking to be informed of the policies, procedures and protections the companies have to ensure their respective boards of directors can review expenditures.

"Obviously, we will have grave concerns if your expected bonus pool has increased in any way as a result of your receipt or expected receipt of taxpayer funds from (the Troubled Asset Relief Program).

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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Citigroup Morgan Stanley New York Attorney General Wells Fargo & Company

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