What recession? Nine U.S. banks pay $32.6b bonus New York (PTI): They survived the financial turmoil with taxpayersâ money, still nine leading U.S. banks shelled out more than $32 billion in bonus to their employees last year, with crisis-ridden Citigroup alone paying $5.3 billion. Detailing the bonus payments made by the TARP-funded financial institutions in 2008, the latest report from the Office of the New York Attorney General has said that there "is no clear rhyme or reason to the way banks compensate and reward their employees." The U.S. government had pumped in billions of dollars into the banks through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help them tide over the worst financial crisis in decades. The nine banks together paid $32.6 billion in bonus while they received $175 billion worth funds from the U.S. The âBank Bonus Reportâ by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said that even though Citigroup and Merrill Lynch incurred massive losses in 2008, together they paid nearly $9 billion in bonus to the employees. The Citigroup, led by Indian-origin Vikram Pandit, gave away bonus worth $5.3 billion while Merrill Lynch shelled out $3.6 billion.