UPDATE: Says Obama, "Top executives at firms receiving extraordinary help from U.S. taxpayers will have their compensation capped at $500,000 – a fraction of the salaries that have been reported recently. And if these executives receive any additional compensation, it will come in the form of stock that can't be paid up until taxpayers are paid back for their assistance." See full text via NYTimes here. (See more Updates below.)
NEW: Link to the government's new executive pay limits here.
EARLIER: "I'm going to be talking about executive compensation and changes we're going to be making there," Obama told CNN here. "We've now learned that people are still getting huge bonuses despite the fact that they're getting taxpayer money, which, I think, infuriates the public." He and Treasury Secretary Geithner will announce the plan at 11 a.m., says Bloomberg. Story here.
CNN: "Under the president's plan, companies that want to pay their executives more than $500,000 will have to do so through stocks that cannot be sold until the companies pay back the money they borrow from the government, according to administration officials."
Bloomberg: "Barack Obama will announce today that he’s imposing a cap of $500,000 on the compensation of top executives at companies that receive significant federal assistance in the future, responding to a public outcry over Wall Street excess. Any additional compensation will be in restricted stock that won’t vest until taxpayers have been paid back, according to an administration official, who requested anonymity...
"Public outrage over compensation has been building since October, when Congress passed a $700 billion financial-rescue plan. An $18.4 billion bonus payout in 2008 to Wall Street executives and employees further inflamed Americans. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will announce the plan at 11 a.m. today." Not clear if it'll be retroactive for Citigroup, American International Group and other taxpayer-funded enterprises.
UPDATE2: JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon, whose company is relatively solvent, and says it took government money only because former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said all the big banks had to, has emerged as a defender of high executive pay, says Reuters in this story. Dimon collected $62 million (much of it in old stock options) back in 2006, roughly half that in 2007, and Bloomberg has reported, $1 million, no cash bonus, and we don't know how much stock for 2008.
UPDATE: Goldman Sachs said today it wants to give the government its money back. Coincidence? Bloomberg story here.