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Is Congress footnoted’s new competition?

Earlier this week, we saw various members of Congress outraged because the three top executives of GM (GM), Ford (F) and Chrysler took corporate jets to beg for $25 billion in money. What’s next, you might ask, will Congressmen (and women) actually start reading SEC filings?

Yikes! It’s already starting to happen! We nearly fell off our chairs when we saw this release yesterday from Rep. Steven LaTourette, who seems to have dived head-first into the amended S-4 that PNC Financial (PNC) filed yesterday in relation to its taxpayer assisted merger — Treasury is kicking in $7.7 billion — with National City (NCC). The newest thing in yesterday’s S-4 — updated from an earlier filing on Nov. 10 — was the disclosure of $49.49 million in severance payments for 14 executives at the bank. Here’s how the Congressman described it:

—When you have 29,000 National City Bank employees in nine states worried about their jobs and retirement, how do 14 people get these perks when billions of taxpayer dollars are making this merger possible? What about the other 28,986 employees and the shareholders?

Footnoted regulars may remember that National City has been something of a frequent flyer here, including this post from July which questioned the hefty parting gifts for outgoing CFO Jeffrey Kelly, who presumably will continue to collect his $54K a month through the end of 2010, even though his name is never mentioned in the filing. We also pointed out back in December 2006 — the stock was trading in the mid 30s then — the time-sharing agreement for use of the corporate jet. (Odd how it all comes full circle, huh?).

Yesterday’s filing also had some interesting tidbits on fees paid to different financial services companies including the $228 million that National City paid to Goldman Sachs (GS) over the past two years. But wait — there’s more. Just this morning, PNC filed a second amendment to the S-4, which spelled out details on the dilution of PNC stock and an additional $2.6 million for National City executives.

We can’t wait to read the Congressman’s take on that!