Bossing bosses' pay
Is it the best job in the world or the worst job in the world?
Kenneth Feinberg has certainly been given an odd job, as the Obama administration's "Special Master for Compensation".
This particular sensei has the intriguing task of adjudicating on whether senior executives at companies bailed out by the US government are being paid too much.
He'll be a de facto Judge Dredd over the material rewards for the bosses of some of the world's biggest and best-known companies - that have been propped up by American taxpayers - including General Motors, Citigroup, AIG and Bank of America.
If he rules that they're being paid too much, there's no right of appeal: he is the law!
Many of you might well feel that this would be the best possible fun, and that you're unsurprised that he doesn't feel the need to be paid for his own pains.
But I'm sure he won't be capricious or mischievous - and won't be motivated by any unworthy desire to humble erstwhile masters of the universe.
In fact, the US Treasury Department says he'll make his rulings on the basis of whether risk is being properly rewarded, whether the relevant company is paying the competitive rate, and whether the structure of remuneration is likely to increase the value of the relevant business over the long term.
All good sound stuff. But, my goodness, those running Citi, GM and the rest will hate the idea that they've lost what they see as their fundamental right to set their own pay.
Some might point out that Special Master Feinberg's appointment provides a bit of cover for the president's mildly embarrassing decision to drop his previous insistence that there should be a $500,000 cap on the compensation of those running firms that are in receipt of bailout funds.
Apparently, it was too messy to insist on this cap at a time when Congress has slightly different ideas on how to limit bonuses and pay excesses.
Also, whisper it gently, it seems that the world's most powerful man thinks that the US has something to learn from the way we do pay at big companies here in the UK.
The White House is to promote legislation that would give votes to shareholders on corporate remuneration practices and increase the independence of board committees that set executive pay.
This is - in broad terms - the British remuneration system for listed businesses.
Many would say that how we do it here ain't exactly perfect. Quite a few British bankers were handsomely rewarded for breaking their respective banks, for example.
Which probably only goes to show how profoundly sub-optimal the US remuneration system has been.