Bailout Bonuses - Round 2

In a more subdued response to the AIG bonus brouhaha than last week, the House Financial Services Committee yesterday approved legislation that would amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to prohibit companies receiving TARP money from paying “unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards.” Two Republicans, Reps. Ed Royce (CA) and Walter B. Jones (NC), broke ranks to vote with the committee’s Democrats in favor of the bill (H.R. 1664). Some of our Congressional sources have said the full House may vote on H.R. 1664 as early as next week. The Senate, however, is almost certain not to address executive compensation until after it returns on April 20th from the spring Congressional recess. Democratic leaders from both sides of the Capitol have greatly dialed down the executive compensation rhetoric since last week.

Under H.R. 1664, the Treasury Secretary, with the members of the Financial Institutions Examination Council, would have a month to define “unreasonable and excessive compensation” and set performance based standards that companies would use to determine circumstances under which a bonus or retention payment would be allowed. Examples of the standards Treasury is to include are the stability of the financial institution; its ability to repay the government; individual performance; employees’ adherence to risk management requirements; and any others that would provide greater accountability to shareholders and taxpayers.

In addition, any institution that has received TARP money or will be selling more than $1 billion in troubled assets to the new Public Private Investment Program (PPIP) has to submit a report to Treasury with the number, not names, of officers, directors, and employees that have received total compensation (for the current fiscal year) in each of the following categories—over $500,000; over $1 million; over $2 million; over $3 million; and over $5 million. The legislation defines total compensation as “all cash payments including salary, bonus, retention payments, transfers of property, stock options, sales of stock, and all contributions by the company or affiliates for that person’s benefit.”

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) amended the legislation to include the Financial Institutions Examination Council. Its members are the Federal Reserve; the FDIC; the National Credit Union Administration; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; the Office of Thrift Supervision; and the State Liaison Committee. The State Liaison Committee is made up of representatives from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, the American Council of State Savings Supervisors, and the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors.

At least no one need worry about running out of bank regulators.

HR 1664 - Proposed Amendment to EESA re: Executive Compensation - (27 March 2009) (PDF)

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (0) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.

Remember personal info?
Send To A Friend Use this form to send this entry to a friend via email.