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MBIA Bonuses "Unwarranted and Ill-Advised," Says Regulator (Update 2)

The cash crunch won't matter if MBIA reaches the settlement with Bank of America that bulls are anticipating beforehand, but if it doesn't, the MBIA executives still make a cool $11.4 million.

In other words, the MBIA executives get $11.4 million if things go badly and $61.4 million if they work out. There doesn't appear to be much in between.

BTIG analyst Mark Palmer (one of the bullish analysts I referred to) doesn't see anything inappropriate going on.

"The amounts in question are modest relative to typical executive compensation packages, and the four executives are among the handful of key players for the company as it manages its way through the litigation period and beyond," he wrote me via email Wednesday night before the NYDFS weighed in.

The statement by the NYDFS is just the latest example that its chief, New York Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, is willing to be aggressive in going after companies he regulates. A case he brought against Standard Chartered Bank in August drew anonymous sniping from other regulators who claimed he was too hasty. Standard Chartered agreed to settle that case with NYDFS for $340 million and with other regulators for $330 million for a total of $670 million.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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