The federal pay czar is trying to force the American International Group to reduce $198 million in bonuses promised to employees of its trading unit, where problems posed a threat to the global financial system last year.

But the Treasury's special master for compensation, Kenneth Feinberg, is running into legal hurdles because those bonuses fall outside new rules against bonus payments at companies receiving government assistance. The bonus agreements at issue were struck before last year's emergency rescues by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and thus are not directly covered by the new rules.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.