Five senior executives at A.I.G. threatened to quit last week if Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's pay czar, cuts their pay significantly. (Two of them have since changed their minds, according to the Wall Street Journal.) A.I.G.'s new chief executive, Robert Benmosche, threatened to quit last month, saying he could not retain top talent if he didn't have control over compensation.

Mr. Feinberg himself said in mid-November: "I'm always concerned that the companies thrive and they keep the personnel they need to stay in business. That's a major concern."

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