The White House is reportedly planning on requiring firms that double-dipped on bailout funds (Citi, Bank of America, AIG, General Motors, GMAC) to handover any executive pay proposals to Compensation Cop Kenneth Feinberg, who will either allow them to proceed, or shut them down. But lest you get the impression that the love will not be spread around, please note that a set of compensation commandments are in the works, with the expectation that they'll be observed by everyone. C, BAC, et al will of course be receiving the most hands on attention from Feinberg and his friends at the Treasury when it comes to how they pay their people, but banks like Goldman and JPMorgan, who awkwardly thought they'd be home free once T. Geith cashed their checks, are in for a surprise.
For those of you wondering what, pray tell, the rules entail, should you want to pay your people any time soon-- sit tight. We don't have anything yet. Everything's fairly (completely) vague right now. No actual Do's or Don'ts made it into the Times report, either because they've yet to be finalized, or because the Treasury thought it'd be fun to make you sweat it out. I don't think anyone over there is that crafty, though, so it's probably door number one.
The Obama administration plans to require banks and corporations that have received two rounds of federal bailouts to submit any major executive pay changes for approval by a new federal official who will monitor compensation, according to two government officials.
The proposal is part of a broad set of regulations on executive compensation expected to be announced by the administration as early as this week. Some of the rules are required by legislation enacted in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and they would apply only to companies that received taxpayer money.
Others, which are being described as broad principles, would set standards that the government would like the entire financial industry to observe as banks and other companies compensate their highest-paid executives, though it is not clear how stringent regulators will make them.
But under the administration's new plans, even companies that repay the taxpayer money will not escape some form of oversight on their compensation structure.
The set of broad pay principles being drafted by the Treasury Department would authorize regulators to tell a bank to alter its compensation arrangements if it is found to encourage too much risk-taking. It is not clear how the government will define too much risk.