Commentary

Pay Czar Can Take Compensation After Its Been Paid

This is simply frightening:

Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration’s pay czar, said on Sunday he has broad and “binding” authority over executive compensation, including the ability to “claw back” money already paid, and he is weighing how and whether to use that power.

Feinberg told Reuters that Citigroup Inc included the contract of energy trader Andrew Hall in submissions due Friday by seven major companies still locked in the federal government’s TARP Program.

Feinberg said he hasn’t looked at Hall’s contract, which reports have said could pay him as much as $100 million this year.

“Whether I have jurisdiction to decide his compensation or not, we will take a look and decide over the next few weeks,” Feinberg said after speaking at a public forum in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, part of a newsmaker series hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Times newspaper.

So, a public official—a non-elected public official I might add—can of his own personal choosing, take money paid by a private company to a private citizen based on his own arbitrary belief about how much someone should be paid. Really.

Anthony Randazzo

Anthony Randazzo is a senior fellow at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.