Here's irony - or something else: The federal government paid regulators millions of dollars worth of bonuses during the run-up to the financial crisis.
After reviewing federal payroll information it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Associated Press concluded, "Just as bank executives got bonuses despite taking on dangerous amounts of risk, regulators got taxpayer-funded bonuses despite missing or ignoring signs that the system was on the verge of a meltdown.
Some government professionals were able to boost their compensation by nearly 25 percent. Admittedly, that doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as it does on Wall Street: Between 2003 and 2006, the FDIC, Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency awarded some $19 million in bonuses. But most of the money was for rewarded "superior performance," the AP says.
The largest share, more than $8.4 million, went to financial examiners, those employees and managers who scrutinize internal bank documents and sound the first alarms. Analysts, auditors, economists and criminal investigators also got awards.
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