The US Treasury Department's pay czar Kenneth Feinberg called out 17 companies who took money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and then handed out $1.6 billion in "ill-advised payments" to employees during the height of the financial crisis, reports CNBC's Mary Thompson on the Fast Money Halftime Report.
These payments were troubling, Feinberg said, because they were "way too excessive" where in a five-month window, some earned $10 million or more. Many times, the payments lacked "any kind of principle" and weren't performance-based. Most, he said, were severance packages for individuals "walking out the door."
Feinberg is not asking that the companies repay the money that was handed out during the financial crisis, reports Thompson. He is, however, requesting that they voluntarily adopt a "brake provision" that would allow companies to break pay contracts during future financial crises. When asked by Thompson if adopting such a policy would put businesses at a competitive disadvantage, Feinberg said no.
Feinberg listed these 17 companies as those, who handed out the lavish payments:
American International Group American Express Bank of America Bank of New York Mellon Boston Private Financial Holdings Capital One Financial CIT Group Citigroup Goldman Sachs JPMorgan Chase M&T Bank Morgan Stanley PNC Financial Service Group Regions Financial SunTrust Banks US Bancorp Wells FargoPage 1 of 3 | Next Page