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Administration to issue new Wall Street pay curbs

By AP

WASHINGTON –

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is ready to issue broad new principles on how to compensate top financial sector executives.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke want to give the Fed and the Securities and Exchange Commission greater powers to set compensation guidelines across the financial sector.

The guidelines come as the administration also prepares to announce new regulations restricting bonuses at financial firms that got money from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The regulations would limit top executives to bonuses no greater than one-third of their annual salaries.

Executive pay is a politically charged issue. Bonuses issued in March by insurance conglomerate AIG set off a public and congressional outcry.

The financial sector has been pushing back, arguing that restrictions that are too stringent could drive away professional talent.

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