To Pay or Not to Pay? Obama OK with New CEO Bonuses

While President Obama continues to push for financial regulations on Wall Street, he's not keen on attacking JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs for their CEOs' monstrous bonuses.

In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the President admitted that the $17 million bonus for Chase's Jamie Dimon and the $9 million for Sach's Lloyd Blankfein is an extraordinary amount of money, but "there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don't get to the World Series either, so I'm shocked by that as well."

With the help of taxpayer money, both companies righted their financial situation during the recent banking crisis and led their respective banks to profit. They have since paid the government back.

The two CEOs received their payments in the form of stock, which is in line with the goals of Special Master on Executive Compensation, Kenneth Feinberg; the man Mr. Obama tapped to oversee executive pay.

Besides, Mr. Obama said in the interview, "I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system."

During an interview last October with Senior White House Correspondent Major Garrett, Feinberg said gearing compensation away from cash and towards long-term stock is key. It is stock "that is tied to future performance of the company, so the value of the stock will depend on how well that company does in the market place."