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Pay czar to probe execs at 419 bailed-out firms

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Government "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg plans to investigate the pay of executives at 419 firms that took TARP money, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal on Monday.

Feinberg, the Treasury Department's special master for compensation, will review the bonuses, salaries and other compensation paid to execs at Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), and other companies that received government bailout funds, to determine if any of that pay should be returned.

TARP pay czar Kenneth Feinberg to investigate executive pay at 419 firms, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Feinberg will send a letter Tuesday to 419 bailed-out firms, seeking data on compensation paid to their top 25 executives, The Journal said. The inquiry only covers a small window of time, capturing the 2008 end-of-year bonus season at most big companies.

Feinberg can seek to renegotiate any payments he deems "not in the public interest." Firms that receive TARP money are subject to his pay decisions until their loans are repaid.

Representatives at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- another firm that received TARP funds -- did not return CNNMoney's requests for comments.

A Treasury Department spokesperson would not comment on The Journal's report.

Feinberg told reporters at a conference last week that he would unveil his latest rulings about the 25 best-paid executives at five specific companies later this week. The five companies -- General Motors, Chrysler Group, GMAC, Chrysler Financial and AIG -- received "extraordinary" aid under the $700 billion bailout fund.

David Ellis, staff writer, contributed to this story. To top of page

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