Kenneth Weinberg, the "Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation" aka the pay czar, announced some new caps for salaries of mid-level executives at four companies. At Citigroup, AIG, General Motors and GMAC, the 26th to 100th highest compensated employees cannot receive cash salaries of more than $500,000 for 2009; Feinberg will use this as a starting guideline for 2010.

Previously, Feinberg restricted the pay of top employees at these firms plus three others (Bank of America, Chrysler Group, Chrysler Financial), demanding that their compensation fall by an average of 50%. Bank America escaped this round of pay inquiry because it paid back its $45 billion bailout while no one at Chrysler Group or Chrysler Financial is making more than $500,000.

You can read the details on the compensation restrictions here; there are also details on how cash can be no more than 45% of total compensation—the rest needs to be in stock—and how companies must consider which employees are helping meet goals (i.e., reward high-performing employees over others). Additionally, some employees were exempt from the $500,000 cash salary cap because the firms argued they were critical to the companies' health—per the Washington Post, "Sources said five of the people were at AIG, four at General Motors and one at GMAC. No one at Citigroup was exempted from the rules. "