TARP Banks Get Headhunted



And so it begins. Government in, high performers out:

John Mack and Kenneth Lewis, the chief executive officers of Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp., said pay limits tied to federal rescue funds have prompted some top employees to leave the companies.

"I had a hedge fund say to me, 'I can hire anyone I want from you and Goldman,'" Mack said at the bank's annual meeting today…

"We have lost strong revenue generators over the past three months to competitors that are not facing the same compensation restrictions that we are," Lewis said.

Anthony Randazzo, of the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes this magazine), notes that this is just the begining of the exodus of talent from bailed out companies:

The House has already passed, and the Senate may consider, a bill that would give Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner the power to set salaries of all employees at any bank that has received bailout cash. And not just the CEO's salary, any employee: tellers, janitors, everybody.

No wonder banks are trying to give back the money and run.