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Administration plans pay cuts at bailout firms

By The Associated Press

This article was published October 21, 2009 at 3:27 p.m.

— The Obama administration plans to order companies that received huge government bailouts last year to sharply cut the compensation of their highest paid executives, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The seven companies that received the most assistance will have to cut the annual salaries of their 25 highest-paid executive by an average of about 90 percent from last year, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been announced.

This person said Wednesday that the Treasury Department will announce the deep pay cuts within the next few days.

Kenneth Feinberg, the special master at Treasury appointed by Obama to handle compensation issues at the seven firms getting exceptional assistance from the government’s $700 billion financial bailout package, is making the pay decisions.

The seven companies are: Bank of America Corp., American International Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., General Motors, GMAC, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.

Total compensation for the top executives at the seven firms will decline, on average, by about 50 percent, according to the person familiar with the administration’s decision.

At the financial products division of AIG, the giant insurance company which has received taxpayer assistance valued at more than $180 billion, no top executive will receive more than $200,000 in total compensation, the person familiar with Feinberg’s plan said.

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