BofA, AIG and Pandit: Collateral Damage

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit may have opened a can of worms for his C-suite counterparts with last week's comments about executive compensation.
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) --


(C) - Get Report

CEO Vikram Pandit may have made life a whole lot more difficult for his counterparts at


(AIG) - Get Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and other companies that have accepted federal bailout monies.

Asked during an interview in New York last week whether $100 million was too much for a Citigroup employee to earn, given all the government funding the bank had received, he replied in the affirmative, according to



The question was a reference to Andrew Hall, the head of a hugely profitable Citigroup energy trading unit known as Phibro. Hall is owed that amount by Citi, but it is unclear if the Treasury Department will prevent the payment from occurring, or whether it even has the ability to do so.

Pandit's statement could reverberate through the executive offices of AIG, Bank of America and maybe even


. As

reported last week, Treasury Department "

pay czar

" Kenneth Feinberg has said he will disclose compensation for the 25 highest-paid employees at those companies, as well as at



Chrysler Financial


General Motors


It is unlikely that employees at any of these companies are making as much as $100 million, but Pandit's comments have clearly opened the door to a discussion of how much is too much. Once the salaries are revealed by Feinberg, the media and shareholders alike will have some numbers to work with. And the CEOs of the seven biggest TARP recipients can expect lots of questions.


Written by Dan Freed in New York