Pay Czar Thinks $9 Mil is a Little High

Late Friday afternoon, Goldman Sachs announced that C.E.O. Lloyd Blankfein would receive a $9 million dollar bonus. But if the maligned company was trying to bury the lead, they couldn’t sneak it past the Pay Czar, Kenneth Feinberg.

While some have called it modest, Mr. Feinberg said the total number was excessive in an appearance on Bloomberg TV this morning. “If you look at the 700 people who are under my mandatory jurisdiction, I don’t think there are more than 1 or 2 who are making that type of total compensation,” Mr. Feinberg said. (Presumably, that includes the $17 million-dollar man, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, who had announced his bonus earlier in the day.)

“On the other hand, clearly, Goldman is following the prescriptions I’ve laid out,” added Mr. Feinberg, who said he had spoken to the company about how they should approach salaries. “I like the mix: stock and low cash,” he said this morning.

The Pay Czar seemed to prefer John Thain’s new compensation package at CIT, where the former Merrill Lynch C.E.O. landed this morning. Mr. Thain will get $500,000 dollars and about $5 million dollars in restricted stock.

By comparison: In 2007, when Mr. Thain took the Merrill job, he got a $15 million signing bonus, a $750,000 dollars salary, and options that would total about $72 million dollars if he could will the company’s stock price over $100 per share.

Pay Czar Thinks $9 Mil is a Little High