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It's certainly tough to argue with the results of Alan Mulally's tenure as chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company. The product and financial resurgence that Mulally has led allowed Ford to be the only Detroit-based automaker to avoid going through bankruptcy. That success is reflected in the Ford CEO's paycheck as well.


To clarify, Bob Lutz is specifically talking about General Motors' top 25 execs. They are the ones who have seen their salaries decline by 31%, and their total remuneration packages go down by more than 20%. Said Lutz, "given the rigors of the job and demands and the accountability, I would say we are being paid way, way, way below market."


It's official: pay czar Kenneth Feinberg's executive compensation rules for companies yet to return their bailout funds means a cap of $500K for second-tier executives. Importantly, that number represents the total compensation allowed, but only 45 percent of it -- $225,000, can be in cold, hard ducats. Stock remuneration must be held or paid out over at least two years, and extracurricular perks like country club memberships and private jet escapades can be valued at no more than $25,000.


With General Motors in bankruptcy, it was only a matter of time before pensions came under scrutiny. The Detroit News is reporting that GM CEO Fritz Henderson has confirmed that executive pensions beyond $100,000 per year will be cut by two-thirds. Recently defenestrated boss Rick Wagoner will likely take the biggest hit of all – he was supposed to receive $22 million over five years as part of his retirement package, but that number will reportedly drop by up to $15 million.


The president decreed that CEOs running banks that received TARP funds couldn't be paid more than $500,000 each year. Chrysler isn't a bank, yet it has received TARP funds, and its CEO, Bob Nardelli, is well under the $500,000. Or at least, he might be. During recent Congressional hearings Nardelli was asked if he'd take a pay cut to $1 a year, and he said he would; the only thing is, he was already making $1 a year.


GM has seen plenty of tough times over the past few years, and even the company's top executives have felt the pinch. Executive pay was among the items cut as the General waded through multi-billion-dollar losses and immense market pressure, but after two years of cuts, the members of GM's top brass are getting their old salaries back. Top boss Rick Wagoner's base pay went as "low" as $1.1M but is now back to its 2003 level of $2.2M. Product czar Bob Lutz and money man Fritz Henderson also had t

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