'During a period of immense financial market upheaval and Government bailouts of banks and financial insurance companies, Friedman was Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Board (which implements the Federal Reserve's Wall Street policies) while simultaneously serving Goldman Sachs (a company impacted by the quasi Governmental policies of the Federal Reserve) as a Board Director. The AIG bailout, an historically large controversial bailout, directly benefitted Goldman Sachs who had one of the largest counterparty claims against AIG. On May 7, 2009 Friedman resigned as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in response to criticism of his December 2008 purchase of $3 million of stock in Goldman Sachs. Friedman, who remains a member of Goldman Sachs' board, came into violation of Federal Reserve policy when Goldman was converted to a bank holding company in September 2008, thereby placing it under the regulatory authority of the New York Fed. Friedman requested a waiver from this violation when the conversion occurred, which was granted roughly two and a half months later. In his resignation letter, Friedman stated that the Fed did not need the "distraction" caused by his "public service motivated continuation on the Reserve Bank Board...being characterized as improper."' (Wikipedia)
So we should not be surprised that Friedman is presently making exceptionally high compensation as a director of Goldman Sachs (and that is not the only board on which he presently serves):
At Banks, Board Pay Soars Amid Cutbacks
By Susanne Craig - DealBook
Wall Street pay, while lucrative, isn’t what it used to be — unless you are a board member.
Since the financial crisis, compensation for the directors of the nation’s biggest banks has continued to rise even as the banks themselves, facing difficult markets and regulatory pressures, are reining in bonuses and pay.
Take Goldman Sachs, where the average annual compensation for a director — essentially a part-time job — was $488,709 in 2011, the last year for which data is available, up more than 50 percent from 2008, according to Equilar, a compensation data firm. Some of the firm’s 13 directors make more than $500,000 because they have extra responsibilities.
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