Video: Some bailed-out execs to get pay cuts

  1. Closed captioning of: Some bailed-out execs to get pay cuts

    >>> now to the obama administration's pay czar, set to announce that some executives at firms that still owe the government huge amounts of bailout money will have to take pay cuts next year. senior investigative correspondent lisa myers has more on this story. lisa, good morning to you.

    >> reporter: good morning, matt. for 175 executives at seven companies which received the biggest government bailouts, these pay cuts may be painful, even draconian. but for most of wall street , on track to receive huge bonuses this year, the party goes on. the insurance giant aig, which received a $180 billion bailout. it is now 80% owned by the government, appears to take the biggest hit. its financial products division, which essentially blew up the company, received $160 million in retention bonuses earlier this year, but next it can pay top executives no more than $200,000. the pay cuts also impact top executives at six other companies -- bank of america and citigroup as well as general motors and chrysler and their financial arms. an official says that overall at these firms, next year's salaries will be cut by an average of 90% from last year, and total compensation, including bonuses, will drop on average by 50%.

    >> main street , not wall street !

    >> reporter: some experts called the move much deserved.

    >> i think these guys can get by on this. often, wall streeters will say to academics, if you're so smart, why aren't you rich? and in this case, the public is yelling back, if you're so rich, why aren't you smart? how could you make such mistakes, being paid these princely sums?

    >> reporter: perks also are restricted. any executive at these firms who wants private jets , limos and country club memberships in excess of $25,000 has to get government permission. some involved with wall street called the overall cuts shocking and severe.

    >> i'm concerned that this is more focused on punishment.

    >> reporter: others warned that while the pay cuts may satisfy public lust for blood on wall street , they may not help taxpayers get their money back.

    >> as taxpayers, we're shareholders in these companies, and we may have shot ourselves in the foot, because the most talented people may end up leaving for other firms that aren't -- that don't have these pay curves.

    >> reporter: it's important to note that these restrictions will not impact other wall street firms such as goldman sachs and morgan stanley , which received significant government bailouts, paid them back, and are now on track to pay billions in bonuses this year, as though the meltdown never happened, matt.

    >> all right, lisa, thank you very much. lisa myers in washington for us this morning. tom brokaw 's here now with

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