US Treasury Staff Made Millions From Wall Street

Perhaps the biggest news of the day, while not at all surprising, is intensely frustrating. Several top aides at the US Treasury have previously worked at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and other financial services firms, and have pocketed millions of dollars in compensation in the process.

In his election campaign, President Obama made promises that he would steer clear of lobbyists and keep special interests at arms length. It was an attempt to avoid appointing officials with obvious financial connections to the private sector, that owe favors, and that are driven by anything other than the public good.

When it comes to the Treasury in particular, which has a leading role in guiding our nation through the present financial crisis, this promise has not been fulfilled.

Here are two of the top offenders…

* Gene Sperling: Earned over $900,000 from companies like Goldman Sachs and Stanford Financial.

* Lee Sachs: Took home more than $3 million from the New York hedge fund Mariner Investment Group.

The two advisors to Geithner are in counselor positions that do not require Senate confirmation. Yet, they have been deeply involved in the $700 billion bank system rescue plan, the development of financial regulations, and in determining executive compensation rules.

How can regular Americans be treated fairly when coalitions of the elite run the private and public sector? It just doesn’t seem possible.

Even more officials are described and exposed in this Bloomberg article on Geithner aides reaping millions.