A new lord for Wall Street?

The Obama administration is ready to announce a "pay czar" to watch over executive compensation.

By Andrew Leonard

Published June 5, 2009 4:02PM (EDT)

Will Kenneth Feinberg become the most feared man on Wall Street? The Wall Street Journal's Deborah Solomon reports that the Obama administration is set to announce, perhaps as early as next week, that Feinberg will be appointed "Special Master for Compensation." His job: Overseeing whether recipients of bailout money stay within executive compensation restrictions imposed by Bush, Obama and Congress.

Feinberg's primary qualification appears to be that he previously ran the federal government's compensation system for 9/11 victims:

Mr. Feinberg, founder and managing partner of the law firm Feinberg Rozen LLP, spent several years overseeing payouts totaling more than $7 billion to victims of the 9/11 attacks. He personally reviewed every claim, approving or denying awards and allocating sums to be paid out of the Treasury.

He reviewed every claim on $7 billion!? That seems remarkable, but no less so is the idea that one guy will be watching over the salaries and bonuses of every executive at every company receiving government bailout money.

Good luck, Mr. Feinberg. You're going to need it.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

MORE FROM Andrew LeonardFOLLOW koxinga21LIKE Andrew Leonard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

How The World Works Wall Street