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Big bonuses are given at bailed-out banks

Citigroup Inc., one of the biggest recipients of government bailout money, gave employees $5.33 billion in bonuses for 2008, New York’s attorney general said Thursday in a report detailing the payouts by nine big banks.

Citigroup, which is now one-third owned by the government as a result of the bailout, gave 738 of its employees bonuses of at least $1 million, even after it lost $18.7 billion during the year, Cuomo’s office said.

Bank of America Corp., which also received $45 billion in TARP money, paid $3.3 billion in bonuses, with 172 employees receiving at least $1 million. Merrill Lynch, which Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America acquired during the credit crisis, paid out $3.6 billion.

Exxon, Shell on rough streak

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Oil giants Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday added to the industry’s worst midyear showing in years, stung by slumping global energy demand that threatens to further slow exploration and production.

For Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, a 66 percent profit plunge for the second quarter marked its lowest result in nearly six years. The Irving, Texas-based company vowed to maintain its aggressive spending plans but acknowledged the tough economic environment has made that difficult.

Its quarterly production fell too — bad news considering it generates more than two-thirds of its earnings from oil and gas output.

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