Fox & Friends' Gretchen Carlson claimed the Obama administration advocates regulating "executive pay at any financial institution" a day after falsely claiming that the administration has proposed capping executive salaries at all financial institutions. In fact, caps on employee compensation would be placed only on "financial institutions that are receiving government assistance."
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On the March 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, host Gretchen Carlson claimed that during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that "executive pay at any financial institution should be regulated by the federal government." She added, "That's a huge statement." The previous day, Carlson had falsely claimed that "executives who work at institutions that are not receiving taxpayer dollars -- that your administration may, in fact, put a cap on their salaries as well." But while Geithner and Bernanke did say during the hearing that they were open to putting in place, in Geithner's words, "broad standards that, again, make sure that we're not encouraging short-term risk-taking at the expense of long-term stability" on financial firms, Carlson did not note that the administration has not proposed capping pay at all financial institutions. Indeed, Geithner also testified that "[t]he government should not be setting detailed or prescribing detailed regulations to govern amounts of compensation and their distribution."*
As Matters for America noted when Fox News' Neil Cavuto and syndicated radio host Mark Levin made the same false assertion, during his March 24 prepared testimony before the committee, Geithner made clear that in referring to caps on employee compensation, he was talking only about "financial institutions that are receiving government assistance."
Carlson made the claim on March 25 despite the fact that, in an interview with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs the previous day, during which she claimed that the administration may "put a cap" on the salaries of executives at institutions that did not receive tax dollars, Gibbs said, "[T]here are not plans to do something broad like that."*
From the March 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
CARLSON: Timothy Geithner is in New York City today to speak at the Council of Foreign Relations. Now this, after the Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke went to the House Financial Services Committee. They said executive pay at any financial institution should be regulated by the federal government. That's a huge statement. Geithner said it was part of a bigger picture.
GEITHNER [video clip]: Stress at large, complex financial institutions can pose risks as dangerous as those that led the United States to establish a full framework of tools for dealing with banks. We need to extend those protections and authorities to cover the risks posed by our more diverse and complicated financial system today.
CARLSON: Republicans have not objected -- at least, not yet. It's expected they will support the idea only so far as companies getting bailouts are concerned.