Jacob J. Lew, President Obama’s presumed choice to lead the Treasury Department, has close ties to Wall Street, receiving more than $900,000 in bonus cash from a division of Citigroup just as the company was getting bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.
The arrangement, previously reported by The Washington Times, received little scrutiny after Mr. Lew joined the Obama administration in 2009, first as a deputy in the State Department and later as Mr. Obama’s budget chief and chief of staff.
Mr. Obama has criticized hefty bonuses paid out to Wall Street executives. In his State of the Union address last year, he said, “Banks had made huge bets and bonuses with other people’s money.”
Formerly chief operating officer at Citi Alternative Investments, a division of Citigroup, Mr. Lew received a bonus of $944,578 in January 2009, a payment that came days before he joined the State Department and later surfaced in a government ethics form.
The bonus came on top of $1.1 million in other Citigroup compensation he reported receiving during 2008 and the first two weeks of 2009.