NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "This is not a populist phenomenon," said Jim Cramer of executive pay cuts at companies that received TARP funding. "We're paying these people's salaries, so let's get serious about it."
As reported by
The New York Times
, the Obama administration plans to require the seven companies that received the most TARP funding to cut the pay of their top 25 executives by about 90%. Those firms include
Bank of America
Cramer said he had no sympathy for the execs. If they'd been responsible with their big paychecks while they had them, they'd have no problem living off the lower pay now, he said.
He told "Stop Trading!" host Erin Burnett on Wednesday that he understands that life in New York for many of these executives is expensive, but that's what saving and investing are for. "You know what, guys? You made millions of dollars from 2000 to 2008. What the heck did you do with it?" he said.
"You either saved and you could live off that for a long, long time, or you spent," Cramer said. And those who spent? "Well, that's just too bad."
As to whether the executives would stay at their firms with the reduced pay, Cramer said: "If you believe in your institution, you stay."
And he saw no problem with an influx of new blood into the firms. "If they can't raise the capital to get the government off their back, then what's the problem with having a lot of young, hungry people go work there?" he said.
-- Written by Rebecca Corvino in New York.