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Obama czar slashes exec pay at TARP firms

[Bumped Thursday a.m. with new links and some rearrangement]

Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution: "There is no way this will work as advertised. ... Chaos will be created at these firms as top people leave in droves. Will the administration then order people back to work?" Hodak Value: "In short, the politicians have figured out yet another way to buy our votes with our dollars" and earlier (on views of Elizabeth Warren). Prof. Bainbridge says there "really ought to be more outrage over this proposal". A contrary view: Felix Salmon ("these guys are effectively civil servants now, and they deserve to be paid as such.")

Larry Ribstein:

As for rewriting contracts, these firms became government bureaucracies (and their employees knew it) as soon as they took TARP money trailing thick strings, including the Treasury's power over pay. It's bad, but should this latest move really be so shocking?

If some lawmakers have their way, at any rate, watch for Wall Street trading to shift away from the publicly-held firm model. Quoting the WSJ:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) plans to press for legislation extending Mr. Feinberg's governance changes to all publicly traded companies.

More: Megan McArdle, Nicole Gelinas, Joe Weisenthal/Business Insider. And a Reuters report helps clarify which contracts come under Mr. Feinberg's purview.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.