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Senator proposes pay cap for Wall Street execs

January 30, 2009 | 11:40 am

The anti-Wall Street sentiment in Congress is increasingly reminiscent of the anti-Corporate America sentiment that reached a fevered pitch in 2002, amid the Enron/WorldCom/Tyco etc. accounting scandals.

Now, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has introduced a bill to limit to $400,000 the total pay and bonuses of any executive at a company that gets federal financial help, Bloomberg News reports.

Why $400,000 as a cap? That’s President Obama’s salary.

"We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer" by taking multimillion-dollar bonuses, McCaskill said.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has another idea: He proposes a "temporary economic recovery oversight court" that would give the government the power to "take reasonable steps to restrain the massive self-indulgences that these masters of the universe have become accustomed to," according to Bloomberg.

Demagoguery? Of course. But no one can say Wall Street didn’t bring this on itself.

-- Tom Petruno

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