In a few weeks, the Treasury Departments czar of executive pay will have to answer this $100 million question: Should Andrew J. Hall get his bonus?
Mr. Hall, the 58-year-old head of Phibro, a small commodities trading firm in Westport, Conn., is due for a nine-figure payday, his cut of profits from a characteristically aggressive year of bets in the oil market.
There is little doubt that Mr. Hall is owed the money under his contract. The problem is that his contract is with Citigroup, which was saved with roughly $45 billion in taxpayer aid.
Corporate pay has become a live grenade in the aftermath of the largest series of corporate bailouts in American history. In March, when the American International Group, rescued at vast taxpayer expense, was to give out $165 million in bonuses, Congress moved to constrain the payouts, and protesters showed up at the homes of several executives.
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