The US Treasury Department's pay czar Kenneth Feinberg called out 17 companies who took money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and then handed out $1.6 billion in "ill-advised payments" to employees during the height of the financial crisis, reports CNBC's Mary Thompson on the Fast Money Halftime Report.
These payments were troubling, Feinberg said, because they were "way too excessive" where in a five-month window, some earned $10 million or more. Many times, the payments lacked "any kind of principle" and weren't performance-based. Most, he said, were severance packages for individuals "walking out the door."
Feinberg is not asking that the companies repay the money that was handed out during the financial crisis, reports Thompson. He is, however, requesting that they voluntarily adopt a "brake provision" that would allow companies to break pay contracts during future financial crises. When asked by Thompson if adopting such a policy would put businesses at a competitive disadvantage, Feinberg said no.
Feinberg listed these 17 companies as those, who handed out the lavish payments:
American International Group
Bank of America
Bank of New York Mellon
Boston Private Financial Holdings
Capital One Financial
PNC Financial Service Group
POLL OF THE DAY: LIFE AFTER EURO STRESS TESTS
Seven European banks would not be strong enough to withstand another recession and would face a capital shortfall of 3.5 billion euros ($4.5 billion), tests showed Friday. Analysts had expected five to 10 banks to fail the test. As expected, no big banks failed the health check.
Europe tested how 91 banks would cope with another recession and losses on government debt after the Greek crisis hit markets and raised fears the euro zone could unravel.
CALL THE CLOSE
Brian Kelly of Kanundrum Capital thinks the market looks strong and says if the S&P 500 gets to the 1100 level, it's time to buy. For now, he recommends buying the euro.
Patty Edwards of Storehouse Partners says things look a little better, but she'll continue to focus on individual names and wouldn't buy in this market overall.
Steve Grasso of Stuart Frankel still thinks the market is a short.
Joe Terranova of Vitrus Investment Partners recommends buying the resource names.
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Trader disclosure: On July 23, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova owns Coper; Terranova owns (FCX); Terranova owns (MOS); Terranova owns (GLD); Grasso owns (BAC), (BA), (BGP), (C), (CSCO), (DYN), (JPM), (LPX), (MO)
For Patty Edwards
Edwards owns (MCD) for clients
Edwards owns (F) for clients
Edwards owns (AMZN) for clients
Edwards owns (VZ) for clients
Edwards owns (PCL) for clients
Edwards owns (VXX) for clients
Edwards owns (SPY) for clients
Edwards owns (QQQQ) for clients
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own Australian Dollars
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (NWL)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (ELX)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (TLT)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own Euro
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own Yen
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital is short (EWO)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital is short (EWI)
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