- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

If you’ve got a knack for knowing how much is too much in Wall Street bonuses, then the Treasury Department could have a job for you.

As Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner faced withering criticism for failing to root out big bonuses to executives at insurance giant American International Group Inc., the Treasury Department this week ran a couple of job ads that could help it avoid missing any more dubious payments.

Posted on a government jobs database Tuesday and Thursday, the ads seek applicants for the positions of executive compensation specialist and lead executive compensation specialist.

According to one ad, the duties of an executive compensation specialist include:

•”Recovery of bonuses, retention awards or incentive compensation paid to certain senior executives and other highly paid employees.

• “Limitations on senior executives’ compensation that exclude incentives for taking unnecessary and excessive risks.

•”Prohibition on golden parachute payments to certain senior executives and highly compensated employees.”

Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said the ads had nothing to do with recent criticism of Mr. Geithner and were posted to fill jobs under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. He said the language used in the ads came from the statute.

Neither job opening will last. The government won’t take applications for the executive compensation specialist job past Saturday, and the lead executive compensation specialist position closes Monday, according to the postings, which are available at www.usajobs.gov.

See related story:Treasury urged no tax on bonuses

To be sure, there’s a big demand for such work - especially judging by all the talk about bonuses from Congress in recent days.

“We want our money back, and we want our money back now,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Thursday after the House voted 328-93 to impose big taxes on bonuses paid out to executives at bailed-out firms.

Added Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican: “Americans want answers about the bonuses that were handed out at AIG, how it happened and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Much of the criticism that Mr. Geithner received this week has centered on when he found out about AIG bonuses, which were paid to about 400 executives as the company received more than $170 billion in government bailout funds.

Mr. Geithner told CNN on Thursday that his staff told him about the bonuses last week.

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