MELTDOWN

Citi Seeks to Dole Out Bonuses

The ailing bank Citigroup is caught between the strict regulations imposed by the Treasury for bailout recipients and disgruntled employees accustomed to big bonuses as incentives. Now workers in a very profitable department—ahem—within Citi are threatening to leave if they aren’t given their extra cash. The department, called Phibro, is described as “a legendary energy trading unit” that has earned the bank millions of dollars. Citi is now seeking special permission to allow bonuses for Phibro and also is pursuing an easing of restrictions on bonuses for other employees. A third of Citi will soon be owned by the government, and the bank has expressed concern that its employees will jump ship to other banks that face less severe pay restrictions.