Another angle on the difficulty inherent in having a political appointee determine how much someone should be earning:

Four years after she took over management of the General Motors pension plans, Nancy Everett finds herself in an unexpected controversy.

Performance is not her problem. The G.M. pension fund has withstood the unforgiving financial markets of the last year or so better than many other funds, using a conservative strategy that is intended to minimize risk.

But the government is looking closely at the pay of all top G.M. employees after bailing out the automaker. And that includes the unit that manages the pension fund, whose name was changed to Promark Global Advisors this year.

Ms. Everett, chief executive of Promark, and 14 of her associates are among the 25 highest paid at the automaker. Their compensation has been submitted for review to Kenneth Feinberg, the governmentís pay czar.

Ms. Everett appears to present a bit of a conundrum. Her laserlike focus has been on managing risk. That would seem to be exactly what the government wants to encourage. If successful, her teamís approach makes it more likely the automaker will be able to pay all its retirees down the road and reduces chances that the government and taxpayers will have to make up the difference.

On the other hand, Ms. Everett represents the high-paying New York money managers who have engendered animosity among the public toward the American International Group and other companies. Though she is a far cry from Citigroupís $100 million man who trades energy contracts, Ms. Everett is said to have total compensation approaching $2 million.
She should receive her full compensation, same as the guy at Phibro. Hopefully this case will help people understand that.