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U.S. review of executives' pay at bailed-out firms won't name names

September 25, 2009 | 12:18 pm

The Obama administration’s "pay czar" said today that he won’t put ceilings on executive compensation at bailed-out companies including General Motors Co. and Bank of America Corp., and that the public won’t get to see who makes what.

From Reuters:

"We don't want specific names next to dollars," said Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed in June to decide compensation packages for the highest-paid personnel at companies that received U.S. government bailouts.

The rules do not call for capping pay, Feinberg told a conference in New York, adding he is faced with setting compensation that discourages excessive risk-taking and that relates pay to performance.

"Avoiding excessive risk means different things to different people in different situations," he said.

Feinberg was picked by President Obama to review top executives’ pay at companies that got huge injections of federal money. His initial review is focusing on seven names: GM, BofA, American International Group, Chrysler Financial, Chrysler Group LLC, Citigroup Inc. and GMAC Inc.

His report on those seven is due next month.

From Reuters:

After Feinberg makes his initial determination about whether to approve or disapprove pay contracts, the companies have 30 days to ask him to reconsider, after which Feinberg has 30 days to make a final determination.

The final determinations are binding, Treasury has said.

After Feinberg finishes his review of pay packages for the companies' top 25 employees, he will have to approve broader compensation structures for the 75 next-highest-paid employees.

-- Tom Petruno