Sunday, July 25, 2010

Obama's Pay Czar Is Paid by BP, and He Manages $20 billion BP Oil Spill Escrow Fund

Talk about "conflict of interest".

I have written about Kenneth Feinberg, President Obama's Pay Czar who has been put in charge of dispensing the BP's $20 billion escrow fund (which is still EMPTY, by the way), and wondered aloud why he seems to be more accommodating to BP than to the 'small people'.

Here's one guess: it is because he draws his salary from BP.

In the July 19, 2010 article, AP writer Frederic J. Frommer reports on the speech that Feinberg gave at the Economic Club of Washington D.C., in which Feinberg encouraged people in the Gulf region who have been negatively affected by the BP oil spill to settle. In the very last sentence, the writer throws in a piece of information I don't think I've seen anywhere else:

"Feinberg, who is being paid by BP, declined to provide his salary. "That's something between me and BP," he said."

Ummm, excuse me?

Mr. Feinberg, as Obama's Pay Czar ("Special Master for Executive Compensation", if you prefer), is being paid by the Treasury Department for his work of "regulating" executive compensation at big Wall Street banks and non-bank financial companies like AIG. (He doesn't seem to do any of that except for a few isolated cases, but that is for my later post.)

He was appointed by Obama to this Pay Czar position, in which he is only answerable to the president. But he has to be paid somehow for his service. So what did the administration do? Have Timmy Geithner hire him at the Treasury Department, of course. (That's how political appointees at the White House are paid, by the way - by creating 'positions' in the executive branch departments and agencies even if they only work for the White House.)

Mr. Feinberg's partner in his law office, Mr. Michael Rozen, has also been active in promoting the escrow fund. Wonder if Mr. Rosen also draws his salary from BP.

(H/T dovp2549)


Post a Comment