Pay Czar

DEFINITION of 'Pay Czar'

The nickname given to "Special Master for Compensation" Kenneth Feinberg. The term "pay czar" was applied to Feinberg following his appointment by the U.S. Treasury Department to monitor compensation awards to executives of the firms that accepted U.S. TARP funds during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

BREAKING DOWN 'Pay Czar'

Following the disbursal of TARP funds to some of the country's largest financial institutions and businesses, many in the media and general public grew angry over the exorbitant bonuses being given to the executives of these bailed-out institutions. Subsequently, the position of Special Master for Compensation was created to regulate such awards.