The New York Times reports on salaries at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created during the Obama administration with funding from the Federal Reserve:
The consumer bureau, as well as fellow financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is allowed under federal law to pay employees significantly more than other government agencies can pay. The rationale is that the higher salaries are necessary to recruit skilled employees who otherwise might land jobs on Wall Street.
As a result, the C.F.P.B. is stocked with employees who earn more than the average Washington bureaucrat. Of the agency's 1,600 employees, 219 make more than $200,000, according to the records reviewed by The Times.
The paper doesn't say whether this "rationale" makes sense — would the CFPB employees really otherwise be working on Wall Street? It's also interesting that these salary levels all of a sudden become of interest to the Times when the Trump administration makes two $200,000-plus hires at the agency, but not when the Obama administration hires the first 200. The Times doesn't say so, but at least one online database suggests that there were about 2,100 SEC employees who made more than $200,000 in 2017. The idea that they'd all be snapped up by Wall Street if their salaries were lower seems questionable.