What did Mellon do to deserve an occupation? Quite a bit, maybe | Slag Heap

What did Mellon do to deserve an occupation? Quite a bit, maybe

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When protesters announced their plans to occupy a parklet next door to the Pittsburgh headquarters of Bank of New York Mellon, you could almost hear the forehead-clutching from the upper floors:

"What did we do to deserve this?" 

True, when it comes to fucking up the entire global economy, Mellon is not in the same league as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup or Bank of America. Still, the bank has made numerous appearances in the headlines recently ... because it's been accused of exactly the kind of behavior that spawned the occupy movement in the first place. 

Consider that Robert P. Kelly -- who was Mellon's CEO until stepping down less than two months ago --  got an eye-popping 73 percent raise this past spring:

Kelly received a compensation package valued at $19.4 million last year, compared with $11.2 million in 2009 ...

Perks and other benefits increased 20 percent to $356,495 from $297,158, which included use of a company car and driver, personal use of the corporate jet, a company match to a charitable gift, insurance premiums and contributions to a retirement plan.

Not bad, but of course, at the CEO level, you make the real money by quitting

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. has agreed to pay $33.8 million in severance and benefits to Robert Kelly, who stepped down as chief executive this week after disagreeing with the board over how to manage the company.

Kelly's departure came in late August, just a few weeks after the bank announced a 3 percent workforce reduction. I'm gonna guess a lot of those employees receieved considerably less generous severance packages.

And by at least one accounting, Kelly's earnings in 2010 far outweighed what the entire Bank of New York Mellon octopus paid in corporate income taxes last year ... because Mellon got a $670 million refund in 2010. According to the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies:

Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert Kelly took home $19.4 million in 2010. The bank, the same year, claimed a $670 million federal tax refund, despite $2.4 billion in U.S. pre-tax income

... The Bank of New York Mellon, with 10 subsidiaries in tax havens, did not pay a dime in federal taxes in 2010. However, the banking giant did devote $1.4 million to lobbying over the year. The bank’s lobbyists worked diligently to exempt currency trading from new transparency and oversight rules.

The report also notes that Mellon has been accused of fleecing state pension funds by overcharging on those very currency trades -- a charge which Mellon heartily rejects, but which has led to civil charges by New York's attorney general and the federal Department of Justice.

These are only allegations, of course. But in any case, Mellon could use some good PR right about now. Maybe providing blankets to its would-be occupiers wouldn't be a bad move?

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