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CEO pay now in former CEO's hands

Oct. 20, 2008 at 1:01 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Executive pay limits mandated by the $700 billion financial bailout bill may not have any teeth to them, a Democratic congressman warned.

"I found seven loopholes that will protect their their outrageous paychecks and golden parachutes," Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats before the bailout bill passed. "Imagine how many more loopholes the Wall Street lawyers will find to protect their CEOs' paycheck," DeFazio wrote.

While not technically a loophole, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who will oversee the new standards for executive pay, may be the best bet for executives who want to protect exorbitant pay packages, the Palm Beach, Fla., Post reported.

Paulson was reluctant to include pay standards in the bailout bill, the Post reported. "If we design it so it's punitive and so institutions aren't going to participate, this won't work the way we need it to work,'' Paulson said before the bill passed.

Paulson, three years ago, was the highest-paid executive on Wall Street, earning $38.9 million at Goldman Sachs.

Technically, the bill only limits one of the hidden bonus deals executives frequently receive, the golden parachutes that allow them huge payments when they are fired, the Post reported.

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