Ken Feinberg, who checked out of this gig months ago when the more exciting one came up to work alongside the fuck-ups du jour, BP, has released his list of the 17 TARP-taking banks that paid out "ill-advised" bonuses in 2008 ("both for the sheer amount and the lack of reasonable rationale for their payment"). Although the point has been made clear about a million times that K-Fein has no authority to claw-back these bonuses, people, we're supposed to believe have been all but pissing their pants in fear and in some cases (Citi...) doing just that. So, yes, "legally," he can't take the money back but...there's gotta something he can do, right? Smash their faces with an iron? Shove a nail through their foot? Bite off each and everyone one of their fingers one by one? Or how about, wait, this is good, you're gonna love this, he does nothing?
U.S. "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg on Friday declined to request 17 financial firms that doled out $1.6 billion in "ill advised" executive compensation to return the excessive payouts, saying to do so would be unfair to the companies and could trigger private lawsuits and additional Congressional investigation.
Mr. Feinberg, the Obama administration's special master for compensation, said he deemed these payments as "ill advised" both for the sheer amount—some individual payouts exceed $10 million, he said—and the lack of reasonable rationale for their payment. But he stopped short of saying any of the firms violated the public interest, the highest criticism allowed by the law mandating his review. None of the firms violated any law or regulation when they made the payouts, Mr. Feinberg told reporters during a briefing Friday.