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White House Reserves Judgment on AIG Bonus Plan

The Obama administration is reserving judgment on whether it will offer its support to a move by American International Group to grant further bonuses to its executives.

While the amount that AIG intends to shell out is far less than the $165 million in “retention— bonuses the company granted previously, the revelation of the earlier bonuses caused such a firestorm that, this time around, AIG is seeking the blessing of White House “compensation czar— Kenneth Feinberg.

“Mr. Feinberg was appointed to review and approve executive compensation for top executives at the 7 firms receiving exceptional assistance to help ensure that companies strike the right balance around their need to retain talent, reward performance, and protect the taxpayers’ investment,— a Treasury official said in an e-mailed response to questions. “That process is just beginning now, and Mr. Feinberg has begun consulting with those firms about their compensation plans. We are not going to provide a running commentary on that process, but it’s clear that Mr. Feinberg has broad authority to make sure that compensation at those firms strikes an appropriate balance.—

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