The U.S. pay czar plans to examine executive compensation at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and 417 other firms that took government bailout funds to determine if any bonuses, salary or other compensation paid during a short window should be returned, according to government officials.

Kenneth Feinberg, the Treasury Department's special master for compensation, planned to send a letter Tuesday to 419 firms that received Troubled Asset Relief Program funds seeking data on compensation paid to the top 25 executives. The pay review will cover a relatively short period, but will capture the 2008 end-of-year bonus season at most large firms.

Feinberg cannot claw back any pay but can seek to renegotiate any payments he deems "not in the public interest." He is required to perform the so-called look back under the legal statute that created the pay czar.

Feinberg's review will look at the period during which a firm first took Tarp funds through Feb. 17, 2009, the date that the stimulus law that included executive compensation restrictions for Tarp firms was enacted. That period, in effect, is the one time there were no other compensation rules governing the use of Tarp funds.

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