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YEAH BUT AFTER TAXES

Cantor’s Defenders Argue His New Wall Street Gig Doesn’t Even Pay That Much

Once Eric Cantor’s new salary and signing bonus were announced earlier this week, it was only a matter of time before some began arguing that the combined $5.4 million in the first two years was actually a pittance in disguise. That time is today.

Politico’s Ben White has an article up this morning wondering whether former the House Majority Leader might find that post-2008 collapse Wall Street is no longer the revolving door for politicians it once was. Time was a lawmaker could decamp to lower Manhattan and refill his coffers before reentering politics, something apparently much harder to pull off given that bankers and traders still reek of the economic collapse. Just look at what happened to Mitt Romney!

But Cantor’s defenders (they’re not named in the piece) swear he’s not one of the rapacious pack. After all, he took a job in a boutique firm rather than some big-name bank, and his $2 million annual take-home is a pittance compared to your normal Wall Street salary:

And Cantor defenders say he is not exactly raking in massive cash.

The former congressman’s initial pay package, with a minimum value of around $4 million over two years, is indeed hardly mammoth by the inflated standards of Wall Street, where top executives and traders can make over $40 million a year and hedge fund titans sometimes top $1 billion annually.

Two days ago Cantor was the definition of failing up, turning an historic election loss many blame on sheer indolence into $1.4 million signing bonus. Now he’s already begun the conversion into underdog.

[Image via screengrab]

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