So now there’s a “Compensation Czar” to oversee the executive pay packages at banks that took TARP money. Here’s an interview with the man behind this thankless job. [Marketplace]


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  1. SkokieGuy says:

    We all know that executive pay, much like Hummers and Mansions are all about small men “compensating”.

    The Compensation Czar will determine just how badly a given exec needs to compensate, and will set limits, accordingly.

  2. laserjobs says:

    Welcome to new soviet Amerika, have you met our czars yet?

    • usa_gatekeeper says:

      @laserjobs: What is it with this current obsession of appointing “czars” in American government? It amounts to emulating parts of, or saluting, a form of government that America worked hard to eradicate. I just cringe every time I hear we’ve ‘appointed a new czar’.

      I need some coffee.

      • Canino says:

        @usa_gatekeeper: What is it with this current obsession of appointing “czars” in American government?

        It’s a way for the power-hungry executive branch to gain increasing control over every aspect of Americans’ lives without having to deal with those pesky checks and balances.

      • JuliB says:


        Avoiding Senate confirmation is one benefit.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @laserjobs: You know the Soviets overthrew the Czars, right?

    • U-235 says:

      @laserjobs: OOOOH! Does that mean we get to behead them? It does doesn’t it?! YESSSS!

  3. MostlyHarmless says:

    The second most thankless job right after Sys Admin? Maybe third. Its a tossup between this and Treasury Secretary.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @MostlyHarmless: Haha, right on about the sysadmin-at least the Treasury secretary can get people to listen by calling a press conference. I propose we allow sysadmins to rename themselves “Network Czar”. It won’t make the job any less thankless, but it’ll be a morale boost.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @MostlyHarmless: Yeah, but at least Car Czars and Treasury Secretaries add value to the enterprise instead of functioning as a fricken’ speed bump.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @Trai_Dep: Thanks for proving my point :P

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @MostlyHarmless: Well things would be different if you were our SysAdmin. A LOT different!
          Although having to hoard raw herring to bribe you into knocking a port open to play Team Fortress 2 would sure stink up my office.

          • MostlyHarmless says:

            @Trai_Dep: Know whats funny, even though I have the penguin on my profile, I havent had a chance to work on linux since early 2008.

            The pic is just a holdover from a time when I was taking two advanced linux programming classes and my waking hours were consumed by frame buffers and kernel spaces.

            • Trai_Dep says:

              @MostlyHarmless: I’d not only keep your penguin avatar, but I’d buy a 6′ costume to wear at work. But only for Casual Fridays, ‘natch.

              • MostlyHarmless says:

                @Trai_Dep: I’m 6’1 My feet would be peeking out. Would look like a hobbit had a threesome with a penguin and an elf.

                • Trai_Dep says:

                  @MostlyHarmless: If you live in a large enough city, finding a foot fetishist who’s crazy for March of the Penguins and The Lord of the Rings isn’t much of a stretch.
                  Heck, one of the Top Ten and it’s what we call, Thursday night.
                  However it turns out, no matter what, refuse to do free computer tech support after the dirty deed(s) is (are) done. A man needs principles to stand behind, damn it!

                  • MostlyHarmless says:

                    @Trai_Dep: Unfortunately, i dont live in them elitist gay sex loving big cities. i live in a smallish city where finding even hetro sex is hard unless you are married and/or pay for it.

                    • Trai_Dep says:

                      @MostlyHarmless: Heh.
                      I was actually careful to keep gender-specific pronouns out of it. This is America, darn it. Lady foot-worshiping felt bird costume-wearing, Elvish speaking paramours (who – how shall I put this delicately – might value a foot-waxing) deserve lovin’ too!

      • HiPwr says:

        @Trai_Dep: There has only been one “Car Czar” and I’d like to know exactly what this person has done to “add value to the enterprise”.

        By the way, how much money does a Car Czar make?

  4. HiPwr says:

    Hooray! Another level of bureaucracy!! I’m waiting for the trans fat czar. He’ll tell us what to do!

  5. MakinSense...ForOnce_GitEmSteveDave says:

    So they change the orders and laws to ALLOW the bonuses now they want to have a czar over it? make up your mind administration!

  6. rbb says:

    If you are going to be “fair” about it, then the compensation “czar” should be able to adjust the pay of union bosses too. After all, most unions are having the same financial problems due to their incompetent leadership.

  7. SexCpotatoes says:

    All you have to do is limit executive compensation to 100x the lowest paid worker (including contract, subsidiary, and temporary employees, no dodges like spinning off parts of the corporation). Also limit them to 1000x the lowest paid foreign worker, no currency conversion or other crap either. Whichever is less (of course).

    Which results in $2,080,000.00 per year limit for the top executive in a company where the minimum wage is $10 per hour.

    Now if this same company pays $1 per day to workers in a foreign country, then it gets wickedly ironic, and fast. Based on an 8 hour work day, $1 works out to $0.125/hour. Twelve and a half cents. Now, the maximum the CEO is allowed in compensation stands at $125 per hour, $5,000 per week, and $260,000 per year. This sounds absolutely fair to me.

    Every job lost in the past thirty years would come screaming back into this country, wiping out unemployment almost completely.


  8. Trai_Dep says:

    Considering the wise, learned and considered advice offered by commentators here – especially regarding labor issues – the Car Czar is missing a wonderful opportunity by not hiring one of the wingnuts here to fix everything up. In one day. For free!!

  9. IamNotToddDavis says:

    In Soviet America, Czar fires you!

  10. S-the-K says:

    This is exactly what this country needs, a Czar to make sure nobody earns more than $250,000 per year! That will fix the economy and make everything fair and square! Now we finally have a Czar to make sure nobody goes out of their way to do more or be more productive and get compensated for going above and beyond.

    Thank you, Chairman O!

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @S-the-K: So how much should an executive that runs companies that lose tens of billions a year until their company is driven into bankruptcy, forcing more tens of billions in bailouts earn?
      A LOT in your book, huh?

      • Esquire99 says:

        As much as the Board of Directors, who are elected by the Shareholders, think they should make.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @Esquire99: Being a well-read individual, you’re familiar, of course, with the voluminous studies showing that Boards largely are in the pockets of the Exec Staffs of corporations, especially regarding back-scratching compensation committees? Even when it’s to the detriment of shareholders?
          B-Schools even have a term for it, the Agency Problem or Principal-Agent Problem. You might want to look it up. Learn something, perhaps.

  11. MrDo says:

    Maybe they can have an Attorneys Fees Czar next. Nothing says massive overcompensation like a 40% cut of an legal judgment.

    Oh wait, this administration is made up entirely of lawyers, so fat fucking chance of that happening.