Pay czar Feinberg increased base pay at U.S. firms: report

Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:14am EDT

Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, is pictured during an invterview with Reuters at his Washington law office in Washington, October 26, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, is pictured during an invterview with Reuters at his Washington law office in Washington, October 26, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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(Reuters) - Kenneth Feinberg, the Treasury bailout program's special master for compensation, who cut total compensation for top earners at seven bailed-out firms last week, increased base salaries at the companies, the Wall Street Journal said, citing its own analysis of Treasury data.

Base salaries at the companies on average rose 14 percent to $437,896 a year, the paper said, adding that 89 of the 136 employees under the pay czar's review got a raise in base salary.

The paper added that Feinberg agreed to more than double cash salaries for 13 of 21 Citigroup Inc employees.

Government officials told the paper they agreed to increase some base salaries in the wake of some companies expressing concern that the pay czar was planning to lock up too much employees' compensation for the long term.

Last week, Feinberg slashed overall pay by more than half for top earners at seven companies that received massive taxpayer bailouts, and ordered that most of their salaries be paid in the form of long-term company stock.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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