Laura Thatcher was quoted in a New York Times article discussing the appointment of a new Special Master for Executive Compensation for companies obtaining federal assistance under the Troubled Asset Purchase Program (TARP). The Special Master will be responsible for interpreting Treasury regulations and guidance under TARP for all participants. More importantly, he will have unprecedented authority to review the compensation of individual executives at the seven firms receiving “exceptional assistance” from TARP—and to reject such compensation as he may deem to be “inappropriate, unsound or excessive.” Thatcher noted that the role raised questions about government interference in compensation in the private sector. “It’s a very unusual thing to turn over the setting of pay to a third party,” she said, adding that state law gives only boards direct authority over compensation. She also stated that it was unlikely that the affected companies would challenge the government on this issue.