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A report compiled by Christy Romero, special inspector general for the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program, was released on Monday, unabashedly criticizing decisions made by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Specifically, Romero’s report targets the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, which was given jurisdiction over the compensation for 69 top executives at seven companies that received “exceptional assistance” during the financial crisis.
Heading into this report, it’s easy to perform a gut check about how much of a hot topic executive compensation has been in the past few years. The corporate elite have been demonized in proportion to their paychecks and stock options, pulling in millions while financial catastrophe wreaked havoc across the world. In the financial sector in particular, executive compensation packages were organized in such a way that incentivized unhealthy risks, and much of the crisis has been blamed on destructive incentive models.
With this in tow, Romero’s report packs a vehemence that’s probably only found in the halls of the SIGTARP offices and among prosecutors. SIGTARP, which was established to police the TARP program, conducted an investigation into Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, and found that the OSM failed to abide by the Treasury’s own guidelines for compensation, and approved massive pay packages for executives…
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