Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama/Geithner: Exec Pay for Bailed Out Firms Capped at $500K

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and President Barack Obama have announced a proposal to cap the salaries of executives at companies receiving federal bailout money at $500,000.

Under Obama's plan, announced at a White House press conference this morning with Obama and Geithner, companies that want to pay their executives more than $500,000 will have to do through stocks that cannot be sold until the companies pay back the money they borrow from the government.

"We're asking these firms to take responsibility," Obama said, adding that these guidelines are only the beginning of a long-term effort that will include a look at broader reform. "We all have to pull together and take our share of responsibility. That's true here in Washington. That's true on Wall Street. The American people expect and demand we will pursue policies...that will prevent these kinds of crises from happening again in the future."

Obama and Geithner did not take questions after the press conference.

Given that this audience includes many CEOs of struggling A/E firms, although many of you don't earn $500K and aren't receiving federal bailout money, I'm interested in knowing what you think of this plan. Do you like the idea that more salary should be tied up in stock as opposed to an annual salary? Are you OK with the idea of not being able to unload the stock unless the debt is repaid? Drop me an e-mail at


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