TARP banks increased perks to execs as bailout money flowed

The firms, accounting for more $350 billion in federal bailout funds, increased these perks and benefits 4 percent on average last year, according to an analysis of corporate disclosures filed in recent months.

Some chief executives, such as Kenneth D. Lewis of Bank of America and Jeffrey M. Peek of CIT Group, the major small-business lender now on the brink of bankruptcy, each received about $100,000 more than a year earlier for personal use of corporate jets. Others saw an increase in the value of chauffeured services, parking or personal security…

“You would have thought that this would be the moment when everyone said, ‘Okay, the perks have got to stop — at least while we’re indebted to the government,’ ” said Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at the Corporate Library. “But that didn’t happen.”…

In the meantime, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Obama administration official assigned to set pay for top executives at seven of the companies receiving the most help, plans to curtail perks such as country club fees when he rules on compensation later this month, according to people familiar with the matter. Perks worth more than $25,000 are getting particular scrutiny from Feinberg.