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Where High CEO Pay Is Deserved

Stocks in this article: BAC C GS

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The upcoming earnings of Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C) will undoubtedly throw the spotlight of public scrutiny on executive pay.

Investors who scoop up shares of these companies should do so for the right reasons, keeping in mind the difference between "high" and "undeserved" pay.

On Saturday I discussed the purchase of Citigroup's money-maker Philbro LLC by Occidental (OXY). This transaction is significant because the move skirts the issue of the $100 million pay package of Andy Hall, the head of the Philbro group.

I expect the recoveries of BofA, Citigroup and Goldman to continue to be valuable to investors. This Big Three has the opportunity to emerge from the financial crisis as profitable companies and franchises. The financial chaos eliminated much of the competition, and areas like Goldman's trading operations have flourished. Over the next five years, this big three could offer a lot in the way of returns for investors.

The issue of Hall's compensation and Ken Lewis' massive retirement package could be hot button topics as we move further along into earnings this week. While I do think that the hundreds of millions being dished out to the AIG (AIG) and BofA executives deserve the scrutiny of compensation czar Ken Feinberg, I think that investors should consider the distinction between "high pay" versus "undeserved pay." Feinberg should be given a fair chance to represent the taxpayers again and determine what is sane when it comes to BofA and AIG.

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