Submissive on Pay: The Treasury Department failed to rein in outsize executive pay at some of the biggest bailed-out companies last year, according to a report published Monday by the special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Treasury officials awarded 63% of the 25 highest-paid employees at Ally Financial, AIG and General Motors total pay packages in 2012 that topped the median pay for executives at similar companies by more than $37 million. The Journal observes that Treasury previously rejected the watchdog's criticism and declined to institute policy changes on pay, "a sign the report might not crimp the future pay packages of GM and Ally Financial executives." The Treasury recently sold its remaining shares in AIG, so the company no longer has to submit its pay packages for approval. The Times echoes the point, noting that a report by the inspector general in 2012 "made similar criticisms." The Washington Post also picks up the thread, noting that Monday's report evaluates Treasury's actions since last year "with stinging allegations of lax oversight and supervision."
RBS is nearing a settlement with U.S. and U.K. authorities over the bank's alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, the Journal reports. One holdup: The Department of Justice is said to want the British bank to plead guilty to a criminal count in addition to paying a penalty of roughly $790 million. The push for a criminal charge reflects "a newly tough stance" for the DOJ, which the paper notes has been slammed for going easy on the big banks. Prosecutors' fears that a criminal plea could destabilize RBS reportedly eased after the muted market reaction to a settlement in December of Libor-rigging charges by UBS that included a felony plea by the Swiss bank's Japanese arm.