BUSINESS

Ken Feinberg, Obama Pay Czar: Bailout Firms Still Don't Get Public's Outrage Over Huge Pay Packages

06/26/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

White House pay czar Kenneth Feinberg said Monday that a number of firms under his jurisdiction remain out of sync with the rest of the nation on the question of executive compensation.

"They're missing the outrage expressed by the American people about the size of the compensation and the fact also that the compensation packages, in many cases, are guaranteed, unrelated to performance" Feinberg told HuffPost's Ryan McCarthy at the Milken Institute's Global Conference.

Feinberg insisted that insurance giant AIG was unique in its insistence on guaranteed executive pay. AIG recently issued strong objections to Feinberg's latest move to cap the cash salaries of its top 100 executives at $500,000 per year. (The U.S. government still owns 80 percent of AIG.)

"What's been unique about AIG is the amount of guaranteed retention compensation that AIG officials demand that they receive," Feinberg said. "Every other company agreed, if they had retention payments, to roll them forward into stock, long-term, prospective. AIG refused."

The pay czar rejected the idea -- long trumpeted by the financial industry -- that limits on executive compensation would result in a loss of key employees. "Eighty-five percent of the officials who had their pay determined by me last year are still at their desk, still working." Feinberg said.

Feinberg's complete interview with HuffPost's Ryan McCarthy is below. WATCH:

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