U.S. Gov't Financial Regulators Earn Tax-Funded Salaries of $225,000-Plus

October 25, 2011 - 7:08 PM

money

U.S. currency. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Federal employees at several financial regulatory agencies – including the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – are earning six-figure salaries and taking home bonuses up to $5,000, according to federal records obtained by Judicial Watch. At least 228 such regulators make $225,000 a year.

In comparison, members of Congress make $174,000 a year; the Speaker of the House makes $223,500; and the majority and minority leaders pull in $193,400 a year.

The records, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), show the number of employees at five of the six major financial regulatory agencies.

In addition to the CFPB, the personnel documents come from Wall Street regulatory agencies including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Treasury Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The forms reveal that hundreds of regulators earn in excess of $225,000 per year, not counting bonus income awarded by some of the agencies.

The CFPB – created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law – has hired a dozen employees at more than $225,000 per year, Judicial Watch reported on Tuesday. The massive new financial regulator has also hired a college student intern, paying her $42,036 per year, despite being listed as a “student trainee” in federal records.

The CFTC has 26 employees earning at least $225,000 per year. That agency blocked out most of the data on the forms it released to Judicial Watch. It did not block out the amounts it paid in bonuses, however, revealing that it paid between $400 and $5,000 in cash bonuses to employees making $225,000 per year or more.

treasury

U.S. Treasury Department. (AP Photo.)

The CFTC would not release the exact salaries of the employees to whom it gave bonuses but all of the records pertained to employees making $225,000 per year or more.

The OCC reported that it had 85 employees making $225,000 or more, but blacked-out the names of those employees as well as the reasons for paying them such high salaries.

Typically, the agencies reported both the names of its highly paid employees and the legal authority that justified the high salaries.

The Treasury Department reported only two high-salaried employees, choosing also to withhold their names.

The SEC had the most high-salaried employees, reporting that they paid 103 employees salaries of $225,000 per year or more.

In all, the financial agencies reported a total of 228 employees making $225,000 or more per year, not including bonuses.

Sen. Chris Dodd, Rep. Barney Frank, President Barack Obama

Then-Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.) and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D.-Mass.) with President Obama in 2009. (AP Photo.)

The only financial regulator that refused to respond to the FOIA request filed by Judicial Watch was the Federal Reserve, which claimed that it did not use normal government personnel records. The Fed also did not provide Judicial Watch with the personnel records it said it did use.

The documents, known as SF-50 forms, are government employment records that show how much employees earn in annual salary.

“These new salary records are bound to cause controversy.  No wonder Washington, D.C.  is the wealthiest area of the country,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.  “And the secrecy surrounding basic salary information of public employees shows an arrogance of power and contempt for transparency in an administration that promised the very opposite.”