Jim Puzzanghera, Christi Parsons and Walter Hamilton
President Obama moved Wednesday to rein in the pay of executives whose companies get taxpayer bailout money - putting a $500,000 cap on annual compensation, limiting "golden parachutes" to departing bigwigs and requiring corporate boards to adopt policies on luxury expenditures such as lavish entertainment and parties.
Corporate watchdogs applauded the intent of the new measures, but compensation experts cautioned that abundant loopholes - and crafty lawyers - could undermine any lasting effect.
"You're pitting a group of government bureaucrats against compensation consultants and lawyers who are paid lots of money, and they're pretty damn smart," said Graef Crystal, a former executive compensation consultant who has written six books on the subject. "It's a lot easier to find ways around things like this than it is to invent them in the first place."
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