Pay Czar Acted on His Own

"Pay Czar" Kenneth R. Feinberg is not going to be a popular man on Wall Street, especially now that it's clear that he is solely responsible for the cuts to executive pay he's expected to announce on Thursday. Administration officials say although Feinberg briefed the White House on the "shape and general direction" of his plan, the "decisions were his," and Obama didn't have much to do with it. The five major financial companies and two automakers under Feinberg's purview received exceptional amounts of bailout money. The top 25 most highly paid executives at each firm will take an average cut of 50 percent to overall compensation, and an average 90 percent cut to cash salaries. Corporate perks, such as the personal use of corporate jets, chauffeured drivers, and country club fee reimbursement will be curtailed, and executives with additional salary in stock will have to wait several years before redeeming their shares. Feinberg's ruling will affect Bank of America, Citigroup, American International Group, General Motors, Chrysler, Chrysler Financial, and GMAC.