The Treasury Department last year granted total pay packages of $5 million or more to top executives at General Motors, Ally Financial and American International Group — despite its own rules regarding corporate pay at companies that received taxpayer bailouts.
Patricia Geoghegan, Treasury’s acting special master for compensation, sidestepped agency rules and approved the compensation, according to a report from the special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.
The report was published by The Washington Post.
Of the top 69 employees at the three companies, Geoghegan last year approved pay packages of $5 million or more to 16 of those executives, while the majority received compensation of $3 million or more, according to the report.
But some in the latter group got as much as $4.9 million last year, the TARP report says.
Geoghegan also approved $6.2 million in pay raises to 18 of the 69 employees as a part of their total compensation last year, according to the report.
For instance, the chief executive of an AIG division received a $1 million raise, while an official of GM’s troubled European operation received a $100,000 raise.
In another instance, an employee of Ally’s Residential Capital unit got a $200,000 pay increase weeks before it filed for bankruptcy, The Post reports.
“We expect Treasury to look out for taxpayers who funded the bailout of these companies by holding the line on excessive pay,” Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP, told The Post. “Treasury cannot look out for taxpayers’ interests if it continues to rely to a great extent on the pay proposed by companies that have historically pushed back on pay limits.”
But Geoghegan disputed the TARP audit, saying that it was riddled with inaccuracies and that it mischaracterizes the data provided to the inspector general, according to The Post.
Her office has “limited excessive compensation while at the same time keeping compensation at levels that enable the recipients to remain competitive and repay TARP assistance,” she told The Post.
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