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Massive Pay Packages for Execs Who Got Taxpayer Bailout Money

Executives at firms that received biggest taxpayer bailouts got millions in pay packages

Common Dreams staff

Although there was a $500,000 salary cap on executives who received considerable assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Treasury Department actually approved pay packages in the millions for those execs.

Juan Gonzalez reports on the sky-high pay:

Treasury Department approves huge paydays for execs at firms who received TARP bailout money

The Treasury Department approved pay packages worth $5 million or more for 49 executives at a handful of firms that received the biggest taxpayer bailouts between 2009 and 2011.

A scathing new audit this week by the inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program blasted those payments, all of which occurred despite a $500,000 salary cap that President Obama and Congress established in 2009 at firms receiving “exceptional assistance” under TARP.

Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Bank of New York officials joined behind the scenes with the bailed-out firms to repeatedly pressure Kenneth Feinberg, the special federal master overseeing the compensation packages, to approve higher salaries, the audit found. [...]

To his credit, Feinberg resisted the most outrageous salary demands, but he still approved dozens above the government’s $500,000 cash cap.

In 2009, for instance, he approved a $10.5 million package for AIG chief executive Robert Benmosch, which included $3 million in cash.

The following year, Feinberg approved another $10.5 million for Benmosch, while signing off on packages of from $3 million to $7.6 million for 17 of AIG’s 22 top employees.

Ally CEO Michael Carpenter got approval for an $8.1 million package. General Motors chief Fritz Henderson got $5.1 million.


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