Wall Street Bailout Could Crimp CEO Pay

Democrats want to rein in rich exit packages and reclaim millions paid to bosses who piled up toxic mortgage assets. But it won't be easy

As Congress and the Bush Administration negotiate over the terms of a financial rescue bill, Democrats on Capitol Hill are drafting language designed to rein in executive compensation, in particular controversial severance packages at foundering companies. And for politicians concerned about the growing backlash on Main Street over what many see as a bailout of Wall Street fat cats, executive pay is a ripe target. After all, average total pay for a CEO at one of the 500 biggest companies last year was $12.8 million, double what it was a decade ago.

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