New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Ken Feinberg, Odds and Ends, September 11


June 11th, 2009

Ken Feinberg: The New Human Punching Bag

You have to admire the mettle of the man. Kenneth Feinberg is stepping into a new role that comes with this one thankless guarantee: No matter what he does people will hate him.

The President called and he answered the call. But the role that he fills is one of overseeing executive compensation for companies that had been bailed out by the government, to see that taxpayer money isn’t wasted on overpaying executives.

Is that easy? Of course not. Many revile the policy and the whole concept of such stringent government oversight. And that means, as the government’s delegated front man on the issue, that he will suffer the slings and arrows of angry people. People will yell that he allowed too much compensation for greedy execs while others will scream that it was not enough to woo talented people. He’s gonna get it coming and going.

His job will be utterly thankless.

When he stepped into his role as Special Master of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund he also had problems. Some thought it unfair that the families of high income executives received vastly more than those from more humble positions. And others said the families of the high earners didn’t get their due because their earnings were so high. As I said previously, I thought he was an extraodianry public servant.

This time, though, he won’t have the back-drop of a nation under attack. He has a recession. I expect he will hear much more in the way of hardball assaults since the raw emotion and immediacy of September 11th won’t be with us. He’s certainly got guts to stick his body into the path of the flailing assaults he will no doubt see.

But in the deep background there is this to consider: Feinberg was picked both by the very conservative team of John Ashcroft and George Bush as well as the present administration. So there are people out there, on both sides of the aisle, who see Feinberg as a fair man that will do his best with integrity. And that ain’t bad.

Elsewhere: D.C. Lawyer Kenneth Feinberg to Serve as Pay Czar (Elefant @ Legal Blog Watch)

2 thoughts on “Ken Feinberg: The New Human Punching Bag

  1. My name is Elyena Miremonde.
    I had true privillege to meet Mr.Kenneth Feinberg this morning watching CBS Sunday Morning News.
    His intellectual courage and deeply complex perseption of the world is grately needed in todays society.
    It is one of the dilectical manifistation where he is commited himself to the highest standard as a human being and yet often unapreciated or even condemed.
    I wanted to assure him that there is a solid croud of peolpe who is passionately grateful to him.

  2. Pingback: New York Times Bashes Lawyers (And Forgets History) – New York Personal Injury Law Blog