US TREASURY secretary Timothy Geithner has promised new laws to force listed firms to put the pay packages of top executives to shareholder votes, although the results will not be binding. <br /><br />Geithner said shareholder-owned firms will have to hold “say on pay” votes over pay packages, following the public fury over so-called “fat cat” bonuses for executives at firms that have racked up massive losses and made workers redundant. <br /><br />But he stopped short of imposing rules forcing firms to cap executive pay levels, suggesting this may be “counterproductive”. <br /><br />Hinting at a wider framework for ensuring executive pay must be tied to future financial performance, he said existing practice was a “contributing factor” to the credit crunch.<br /><br />This came as President Obama named a “pay tsar” empowered with vetting the pay packages of the top 100 executives at the seven firms that have received a state bailout. Obama has picked Kenneth Feinburg, formerly head of the fund that compensated victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.<br /><br />Bailed-out Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG and Gmac and failed carmaker Chrysler and its Chrysler Financial arm will face salary vetting.