Why Aren’t Bank CEOs Fired?

Double standard alert: The Obama administration told GM CEO Rick Wagoner he had to fall on his sword to save his company, but the bailed-out bank execs all get to keep their jobs. What gives? wonders CNN Money’s Paul La Monica. “All it takes is for the stocks of big banks like Citigroup and Bank of America to plunge to multi-year lows for the government to come running,” he writes. Meanwhile, GM and Chrysler have to jump through hoops to get $17.4 billion in loans, and now the government has rejected their turnaround plans and forced Wagoner’s ouster. “There seems to be this belief about how you need to treat financial executives with kid gloves because they’re needed to dig us out of this mess,” Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, tells CNN. Getting rid of Wagoner while letting Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit and Bank of America’s Kenneth Lewis stay on is a “head-scratcher,” writes La Monica.