March 3, 2010 / 12:11 AM / 9 years ago

FDIC's Bair blasts Wall Street's values on pay

Morriss Marshall, 57, protests outside Goldman Sachs headquarters building in the financial district of New York January 21, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outspoken U.S. bank regulator on Tuesday rebuked Wall Street for only paring huge bonuses after public outcry and expressed doubt over how long the restraint will last.

“I just wish these institutions had a better, should I say, propriety compass,” Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, said in an interview with Reuters.

“It got dialed back a little bit this year after mammoth public outrage, but they’re still paying some pretty good... incentive compensation,” she said, adding that she does not know how long the lower bonus levels will last.

Lawmakers should not get “hung up” on which regulators gain new powers, Bair said, adding that new authorities should be housed in the government body with the best expertise.

Key senators have acknowledged that one of the last points of major disagreement is over the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and whether to house it in an existing agency or create a stand-alone entity.

Bair reiterated the FDIC’s support for an independent agency. (Reporting by Karey Wutkowski. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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