US President Barack Obama has unveiled tough new measures to curb salaries for top executives in companies receiving bailout funds in future.
Describing some bonus and pay awards within troubled firms as “shameful”, Obama said ordinary Americans have a right to be outraged as do shareholders. “We certainly believe that success should be rewarded. But what gets people upset, and rightfully so, are executives being rewarded for failure, especially when those rewards are being subsidised by US taxpayers, many of whom are having a tough time themselves,” he said. “For top executives to award themselves these kinds of compensation packages in the midst of this economic crisis is not just bad taste, it is bad strategy and I will not tolerate it as president.” It comes amid a public outcry over some 14 billion euros in bonuses paid out last year at a time when taxpayers’ money was shoring up the financial system. The move is also likely to deflect attention from the withdrawal of Tom Daschle’s nomination as Health Secretary over unpaid tax.