In replacing White House Chief of Staff William Daley for Jacob Lew, President Obama is replacing Mr. Daley, whose final reported compensation as an executive at JPMorgan Chase reportedly included "a $675,000 salary for 2010, a roughly $3 million cash-and-stock bonus for 2009 and a $4.8 million bonus for 2010," with Mr. Lew, a Citigroup executive who was paid a bonus for 2008 of more than $940,000 on top of his regular compensation of $1.1 million.
So much for the idea that this White House has no private sector experience or is somehow biased against the bankers that Mr. Obama calls "fat cats." Both Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase took TARP money. Maybe Mr. Obama just doesn't like the bankers who aren't politically connected and don't leave their jobs to join his administration? Where's Occupy Wall Street when you really need it?
Seriously, I don't think being a highly compensated banker at a firm that accepts a government bailout or rescue or capital injection should disqualify a person from future senior government service. The experience as highly compensated bankers is just one dimension of a broader personal experience and skill set. But if someone predicted a few months ago that Mr. Obama's response to Occupy Wall Street was going to be to swap his $8.7 million JPMorgan Chase chief of staff for a $2 million Citigroup chief of staff, it might have at least drawn a raised eyebrow, if not a gasp of disbelief.