As the pace of bank mergers begins to accelerate, poorly understood IRS regulations governing golden parachutes for top executives are sure to create agony on both sides of the table. Misunderstanding the regulations, which have been in effect for about five years, can be painfully expensive to outgoing executives while slapping unexpected costs on acquiring companies.

And when golden parachutes suddenly tarnish under the application of these regulations, the potential for ill will and snarled negotiations is tremendous.

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