Geithner Says We Shouldn't Cap Executive Pay

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Monday that the government has no plans to cap compensation on Wall Street.

"I don't think our government should set caps on compensation," Geithner told Newsweek's John Meacham during a live interview at the National Press Club. But Geithner acknowledged that pay structures on Wall Street contributed to the financial collapse.

"You had a crisis magnified by the fact people were paid to take a certain amount of risks," Geithner said. He suggested possible measures that could rein-in excessive risk-taking, such as giving shareholders a "say on pay" vote and increasing disclosure requirements.

Geithner denied that the Treasury is sputtering in its lead role in the economic recovery and pointed to gains in the stock market as proof of the effectiveness of his policies.

"I think we're doing quite well in terms of speed and quality of policy," Geithner said. "Things that normally take years we're doing very very quickly."

The Washington Post reported on Monday that key decisions are going unmade at the department, partly because many positions remain vacant, leaving management "dominated by a small band of Geithner's counselors who coordinate rescue initiatives but lack formal authority to make decisions."

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