Cars

White House Orders Pay Cut For Bailout Firms

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Who’s this guy?

Meet Kenneth R. Feinberg, the new pay “czar” for the White House. He’s tasked with reigning in the out of control compensation at companies the government helped recently.

I think it should be noted right off the bat that this is tied to executive compensation and bonuses…two pots of money that are so out of step with compensation in the real world it’s obscene. I mean, one year after all of these places went under and they’re giving out billions in bonuses?

Here’s more from Wash Post:

The cuts will affect 25 of the most highly paid executives at each of five major financial companies and two automakers, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public. Cash salaries will be cut by about 90 percent compared with last year, they said.

The administration will also curtail many corporate perks, including the use of corporate jets for personal travel, chauffeured drivers and country club fee reimbursement, people familiar with the matter have said. Individual perks worth more than $25,000 have received particular scrutiny.

And here are the companies affected…

The seven companies under Feinberg’s purview are Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, Chrysler, GMAC, Chrysler Financial and American International Group. These firms have received a total of about $250 billion in bailout funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, adopted last year by Congress, and benefited from hundreds of billions of dollars more in government guarantees and other support.

Personally, I’d like to see executive pay at publicly traded companies capped at a set price with stock options/bonuses only triggering when those folks actually produce provable results. But this “failing up” nonsense that CEOs continue to do decade after decade is ridiculous.

Of course I know this won’t happen because Wall Street firms will continue to claim that these compensation models are key to attracting the right talent, even though there are usually dozens of qualified applicants for every position they have.

Still, one can dream…