Schumer Punts to Pay Czar

Nine months after he threatened to tax AIG bonuses at 100 percent, Chuck Schumer this weekend offered a less-involved plan for collecting on those unpaid bonuses.

Here’s what I’d do. I’d hand this over to Ken Feinberg,” Mr. Schumer told Bloomberg TV’s Political Capital, in an interview that aired this weekend. “He is smart. He knows what to do. He would be very much disposed to getting the money back. And let him have-–not only let him come up with an idea—but give him the authority.”

But Mr. Schumer declined to endorse the idea that Congress should give Mr. Feinberg additional authority, suggesting perhaps the Federal Reserve could find it in a regulatory framework, given its investment in AIG.

After all, one of the advantages of having a Pay Czar is that it offers legislators an easy out on the contentious issue of bonuses.

Let him handle this and I think he’d handle it well. And I think he’d get the money back,” Mr. Schumer said.

The senator also added a general message to Wall Street. “Yeah, you’re in good shape now, but without the federal government we could have had a cataclysm,” he said. “Live up to your responsibilities. And the number one responsibility they have is lending. Get that money out there to small businesses, construction, things like that.”

Schumer Punts to Pay Czar