Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bonuses, Bailouts, and Lawsuits at Citizens Bank

According to a lawsuit filed in Genesee County Circuit Court, John D. Schwab didn't retire as executive vice president at Citizens Republic Bancorp in January, he was "fired for questioning a $7.5 million bonus for the company's chief executive [William R. Hartman] on the eve of a federal bailout payment," according to BusinessWeek.


  1. Imagine how many houses you could buy and fix up in Flint with a $7.5 million bonus....

  2. How someone running a bank on the edge of collapse could take a bonus this big is hard to understand. It's shameful.

  3. Shameful, you said it. But beyond the questionable ethics, you have to wonder what kind of "federal guidelines" on executive remuneration those are that allow this sort of thing to occur. It is precisely the LACK of a solid regulatory framework and sense of fiscal responsibility that has helped create the mess everybody is in now.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at