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Don’t Reward Risky Business

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Kenneth Feinberg, the US Treasury department’s special master for compensation, delivered the highest-profile rebuke to Wall Street’s excess last week, slapping the seven companies under his office’s purview with a 50 percent cut in compensation for their top 25 employees, including a 90 percent average reduction in salary. Feinberg also curtailed many corporate perks for these executives, including the use of corporate jets and reimbursements for country club fees.

Feinberg assuredly made the right call, as these companies—AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors and Chrysler, plus GM and Chrysler’s financing arms—have swallowed billions in taxpayer money and should not be regressing back to pre-crisis levels of compensation. AIG reportedly proposed pay packages worth millions, and full of perks, that Feinberg correctly quashed.

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