The Obama administration’s pay czar says negotiations over executive compensation with the seven companies that received the biggest federal bailouts have been “a consensual process’’ — not a matter of forcing decisions on them.
“I’m hoping I won’t be required to simply make a determination over company objections,’’ veteran Washington attorney Kenneth Feinberg told the Chicago Bar Association in a speech.
But note: he’s “hoping” he won’t have to impose his own view. He’s hoping the companies will accede to his power without complaining. But the fact remains, he doesn’t have to get their consent. He “has sole discretion to set compensation for the top 25 employees of each of those companies,” and his decisions “won’t be subject to appeal.” Or, as Feinberg himself puts it,
The statute provides these guideposts, but the statute ultimately says I have discretion to decide what it is that these people should make and that my determination will be final. The officials can’t run to the Secretary of Treasury. The officials can’t run to the court house or a local court. My decision is final on those individuals.