US President Barack Obama has announced a $500,000 (£355,000) limit on executive pay at US firms that need substantial fresh government aid. The move follows widespread public anger over the levels of pay on Wall Street, but is not expected to be applied retrospectively. President Obama said it was "shameful" that top bankers had awarded themselves giant bonuses last year. He added that taxpayers should not be "subsidizing excessive compensation". In addition to the limit on basic pay, Mr Obama said if affected executives receive any further bonuses, they "will come in the form of stock that can't be paid up until taxpayers are paid back for their assistance".
Firms will also have to publicly disclose "all the perks and luxuries bestowed upon senior executives, and provide an explanation to taxpayers and to shareholders as to why these expenses are justified". "We're asking these firms to take responsibility, to recognize the nature of this crisis and their role in it," said the president.