Kenneth R. Feinberg

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Kenneth R. Feinberg is an attorney who has also served as a special master for high-profile issues such as compensation for September 11 victims and executive pay at institutions receiving TARP bailout funds.

TARP compensation special master

Feinberg was appointed in 2009 by the Department of Treasury to serve as the "pay czar" for executive compensation at certain TARP recipients. Treasury announced, "As part of the [June 2009 Interim Final Rule on TARP Standards for Compensation and Corporate Governance], we'll be announcing the appointment of Kenneth R. Feinberg as the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation. In this role, Mr. Feinberg – a highly-respected mediator widely praised for his leadership of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund – will review payments and compensation plans for the executives and the 100 most highly compensated employees of TARP recipients that have received exceptional assistance to ensure that compensation is structured in a way that gives those employees incentives to maximize long-term shareholder value and protect taxpayer interests. Companies receiving exceptional financial assistance include those receiving assistance under the Programs for Systemically Significant Failing Institutions, the Targeted Investment Program, the Automotive Industry Financing Program, and currently include AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, Chrysler, GM, GMAC and Chrysler Financial."[1]

Feinberg made headlines in October 2009 when he announced that he was sharply cutting total compensation at the firms under his supervision. A Wall Street Journal analysis revealed that, while Feinberg did cut total compensation by half, he increased the base pay, in some cases by hundreds of thousands of dollars, after the financial institutions complained about his original plan.[2]

Other activities

Feinberg "is an attorney and one of the nation's leading experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He is the managing partner and founder of The Feinberg Group, LLP. Feinberg also served as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In this capacity, he developed and promulgated the regulations governing the administration of the fund and administered all aspects of the program, including evaluating applications, determining appropriate compensation and disseminating awards.

"Mr. Feinberg has taught as an adjunct law professor at Georgetown, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Columbia, and the University of Virginia. He has been Court-Appointed Special Settlement Master, mediator, and arbitrator in thousands of disputes involving such issues as mass torts, breach of contract, antitrust and civil RICO violations, civil fraud, product liability, insurance coverage, and various commercial and environmental matters. Feinberg was also one of three arbitrators selected to determine the fair market value of the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and was one of two arbitrators selected to determine the allocation of legal fees in the Holocaust slave labor litigation." [1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

External resources

External articles


  1. Department of Treasury, Interim Final Rule on TARP Standards for Compensation and Corporate Governance, June 10, 2009.
  2. David Enrich & Deborah Solomon, "Pay Czar Increased Base Pay at Firms," Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2009, at C1.
  3. Board of Overseers, Rand Institute for Civil Justice, accessed January 27, 2009.