White House Calls Pay Czar “Forceful Advocate” For US Taxpayers After BofA’s Lewis Gives Up Millions

By Lindsey Ellerson

Oct 16, 2009 4:28pm

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports: After the Obama administration's pay czar Kenneth Feinberg pushed outgoing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis to return the $1 million he has made so far this year and forego the $1.5 million he is set to make next year, the White House today called Feinberg a "forceful advocate" for American taxpayers. "It appears that Kenneth Feinberg has indeed been a pretty forceful advocate for the American taxpayer," White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said aboard Air Force One en route from San Francisco to Houston. Feinberg was appointed in June to oversee compensation plans at seven firms receiving what the administration calls "exceptional assistance" from the $700 billion financial bailout: Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, GMAC, and Chrysler Financial. Lewis announced late last month that he would step down at the end of this year from his post at the helm of Bank of America, which has received $45 billion in taxpayer aid. The bank has yet to pay it back. The bank is also embroiled in controversy surrounding its takeover of Merrill Lynch last year, with questions about whether or not they misled shareholders about the extent of Merrill's substantial losses during the fourth quarter of last year. The Treasury Department had no comment on Feinberg's dealings with Bank of America. Burton said Feinberg will announce his analysis of pay plans at the seven firms on October 30. – Matthew Jaffe

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus