If you can remember back a few bailouts ago, you’ll recall that the bailout now known as TARP was defeated the first time by the House, but revamped and resurrected in the Senate. According to Senator John McCain:
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Wednesday the resurrected financial bailout bill isn’t perfect but warned that the nation’s financial crisis will become a full-fledged disaster if the plan fails.
In an economic speech Wednesday at the Truman Library and Museum, McCain said the original proposal that failed in the House was flawed because it did not contain taxpayer protections, limitations on executive compensation and sufficient protections for people’s bank accounts.
"I am pleased that these are being added to improve the original bill," he said.
To gain support for the bailout plans, the Treasury said financial institutions benefiting from government support would have to adhere to stricter corporate governance rules and executive compensation limits.But now that the details are out, corporate governance experts are mostly unimpressed.The original legislation stated that institutions taking part in the bailout would have to make sure executive compensation didn’t act as an incentive to take unnecessary and excessive risks.The Treasury’s interim final rule requires that the compensation committee of a company’s board of directors review executive pay to make sure it doesn’t encourage management to take too many risks.The committee has to meet at least once a year with the bank’s chief risk officer to check the relationship between the institution’s risk management and executive pay and incentives, according to the rule.But the Treasury isn’t replacing any of the directors on the boards of the banks it’s investing in, or adding new directors to represent taxpayer interests. That means there’s no way for the Treasury to check if executive compensation is encouraging too much risk-taking."It was a very bold statement to say that executive compensation shouldn’t encourage excessive risk taking," McGurn said. "There was potentially some meat there, but now this will make for very thin gruel."Instead, oversight and enforcement will be left in the hands of the current directors, many of whom who oversaw the big banks and brokerage firms when they were taking huge risks during the recent boom, he noted. Continue reading Bailout Bill Not "New and Improved" After All