Obama's Pay Czar Cuts Compensation at Five Bailout Companies

Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's pay czar, issued several rulings Tuesday reducing compensation packages for executives at five U.S. companies which have yet to fully repay their federal bailout funds.

The rulings by Feinberg, Special Master for Troubled Asset Relief Program Executive Compensation, apply to the top 25 executives at the five remaining firms that received exceptional assistance from taxpayers: AIG (AIG), Chrysler, Chrysler Financial, GM, and GMAC. Two other companies previously subject to Feinberg's rulings, Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), have since repaid their bailout loans.

Feinberg cut total cash payments to the affected executives by 33%, compared to the cash compensation those individuals received last year. He also reduced the total 2010 compensation of executives at AIG, GMAC, and Chrysler Financial by 15% compared to 2009 levels. GM and Chrysler, according to the Treasury Department statement, "are excluded from this total due to bankruptcy restructurings that occurred in the middle of 2009."

"The CEO of GMAC will receive no cash salary," the statement continues. "all of his compensation will be paid in stock that must be held over the long term--and no GMAC executive will receive a cash base salary of more than $500,000."

More than 400 companies received TARP assistance as the financial crisis peaked in 2008. Some of those firms also came under widespread criticism for awarding large bonuses and other forms of what was considered excessive compensation to their executives after taking the aid.

Each TARP recipient now has 30 days to furnish Feinberg with requested information, "to determine whether any payment was inconsistent with the public interest."