Treasury lawyer tapped to replace Feinberg

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Obama administration says it has chosen a Treasury Department lawyer to replace pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, who stepped down Friday, ending a contentious 14-month tenure.

Feinberg was accused of failing to act aggressively enough to recoup excessive pay for Wall Street bankers. He said in a final report that he had worked to help reform compensation policies.

The administration says Feinberg will be replaced by Patricia Geoghegan. She will be responsible for setting pay guidelines for top executives at the four companies still getting exceptional assistance from the government's $700 billion bailout fund. Those companies are American International Group, General Motors, Chrysler and Ally Financial, the financing arm for GM and Chrysler.

Geoghegan spent much of the past year working with Feinberg. She came to Treasury after retiring as a partner from New York law firm Cravath, Swaine and Moore, where she had specialized in tax law and executive compensation.

Feinberg's last day at Treasury was Friday, although he has been devoting much of his time since mid-June to overseeing a $20 billion fund created by BP to pay the victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before being chosen as the government's pay czar in 2009, Feinberg had headed up the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund after the 2001 terrorist attacks. In that job, Feinberg distributed awards to the families of victims of the attacks.

- Associated Press

GM CEO to get $9 million pay package: New General Motors chief executive Daniel Akerson will get a pay package worth $9 million in salary and stock to run the automaker. The company disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday that Akerson will get $1.7 million per year in salary, plus $5.3 million in stock paid over three years beginning Sept. 30, 2011. He'll also get $2 million more in stock as part of a long-term incentive plan. He will not be paid for serving on the company's board.

Celebrity financial adviser pleads guilty to fraud: A financial adviser who has worked for Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone and Martin Scorsese pleaded guilty Friday to fraud charges, admitting cheating wealthy and elderly clients out of tens of millions of dollars in what his lawyer said was a "colossal error in judgment." Kenneth Starr, 66, stood in his blue prison uniform as he entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to charges of wire fraud, money laundering and investment adviser fraud. He faces 10 to 121/ 2 years in prison.

Bank of America, AIG settle Countrywide suits: Bank of America and American International Group settled two consolidated lawsuits over defaulted Countrywide Financial mortgage loans for which AIG had refused to pay insurance claims. AIG's United Guaranty unit and Countrywide, acquired by Bank of America in 2008, asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to dismiss all remaining claims and counterclaims with each side bearing its own costs and lawyer fees. Terms of the confidential settlement were not disclosed.

- From news services

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