Financial Regulatory Forum

Obama, New York law chief Cuomo target Wall Street bonuses

By Caren Bohan and Jonathan Stempel

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – The White House and and New York’s top prosecutor attacked excessive Wall Street bonuses, as the nation’s biggest banks prepare to hand out awards critics say were made possible by taxpayer bailouts.

A senior U.S. official also confirmed President Barack Obama is considering a fee on financial services firms as part of the fiscal 2011 budget he will unveil in February.

The proposal reflects tougher approach the White House is taking toward Wall Street as it faces rising political heat over its support for the $700 billion financial bailout begun in the Bush administration.

Amid reports of some bank payouts that could average hundreds of thousands of dollars each, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said some Wall Street executives “continue not to get it” when it comes to big bonuses at bailed-out companies.

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asked the first eight banks to receive bailout money under the government’s much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program to turn over data on expected bonus payouts in 2009.

New York Attorney General Cuomo seeks 2009 bonus data from Wall Street

By Elinor Comlay and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – New York’s attorney general asked eight major U.S. banks to turn over data on planned bonuses for 2009, amid a growing public outcry over payouts in light of the industry’s role in the near-collapse of the financial system and recession.

Andrew Cuomo made the demand Monday to the banks that were first to receive federal bailout money in the fall of 2008: Bank of America Corp, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp and Wells Fargo & Co.

These banks have all repaid infusions taken from the government’s much-maligned Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), though some of the U.S. investment in Citigroup has been converted into common stock.

U.S. pay czar: Will soon decide how to use clawback

Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, speaks to Reuters during an interview at his Washington law office, October 26, 2009.  REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES)   By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. pay czar said on Monday that he will determine “in the near future” how he will use his power to claw back pay at companies that have taken bailout money but is not currently in negotiations to do so.

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U.S. pay czar emphasizes wide “clawback” power

By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg emphasized on Friday his ability to claw back pay at any company receiving a taxpayer bailout, but said such an extreme action “will be rare and far between.”

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