U.S. pay czar: No need to take on more authority

By: Jim Kuhnhenn
The Associated Press
via Washington Examiner
October 29, 2009

The Obama administration’s “pay czar” who reduced pay for executives at seven major corporations does not want broader powers over the rest of the U.S. financial sector.

“I am troubled at the notion that it could be expanded,” Feinberg said Wednesday of his role overseeing pay at the largest recipients of government bailouts. “That is a mistake.”

But Feinberg, who ordered cutting top executive compensation at the seven companies in half, told a congressional committee that the standards he used should guide the broader marketplace.

“I’m hoping that the report that I issued and the recommendations that I made as to these seven companies will have some effect, voluntarily, in influencing how the private sector goes about establishing compensation practices,” he said.

His testimony comes as Congress continues to struggle with what role government should play in determining top executive pay at companies that are so large and intertwined that their failure can ripple throughout the economy…

…Republicans cautioned that while it was proper to rein in compensation of executives at recipients of government money, the practice set a dangerous precedent.

“One person, one single person is deciding what people make,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican. “That is a dangerous, dangerous place we’re going.”

Democrats said they wondered whether Feinberg’s work would have a broader effect.

“When they talk about multimillion dollar bonuses, it’s like shoeshine money to them,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, told Feinberg. “I can’t see, with all your fine work, that it is going to be turned around.”

The complete article is at the Examiner.

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