Obama’s Pay Czar Is A “Paid” Man

Obama’s Pay Czar Is A “Paid” Man
August 29th, 2009

In early June President Barack Obama appointed Kenneth Fienberg to act as the pay czar for the Treasury Department and essentially policing Wall Street Compensation. Fienberg is probably most known for overseeing the government’s compensation funds for victims of September 11th. However, many American may not be aware that Feinberg is no stranger to receiving huge executive payouts.

Feinberg, who is working as the pay czar for free, took home $5.76 million in 2008 as a partner at this Washington based law firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP, according to reports.

His assets are estimated to be worth upward of $37 million, which includes two homes, a plethora of investments and his stake in the law firm. Both his homes are worth north of $1.5 million, one in Bethesda, Maryland and the other on Martha’s Vineyard.

Feinberg received chunks of money from several different sources last year. $32,000 in income was received from his interest in Strategic Settlement Advisors, a claims settlement company located in the Washington area.

He received a total of $53,000 from eight different law schools, which included Georgetown University and UCLA.

Many Wall Street analysts believe that his high level of success matched by his equally high level of compensation will garner him more respect from Wall Street executives, as he is accustomed to a similar lifestyle attained by his accomplishments.

Feinberg’s first task is to review proposed compensation plans from the seven U.S. banks still taking part in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The banks have to submit plans for their top 25 highest paid employees. Some of the institutions submitting proposals are American International Group (NYSE: AIG), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

There is also an interesting question of conflict of interest. Three of the firms submitting proposals to him are clients of his law firm. However, in legal filings Feinberg was listed as a court appointed neutral mediator and did not represent the firms in any way.

Fienberg does his own personal banking with Bank of America, Wells Fargo’s Wachovia and UBS. He also serves on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and Human Rights First.

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