Friday, September 26, 2008

CEO pay: What those involved in the financial meltdown made


"If George W. Bush, John McCain, or Barack Obama had any honesty and integrity, they would approach the current banking malady in much the same way that President Andrew Jackson did. In discussing the Bank Renewal bill with a delegation of bankers in 1832, Jackson said, "Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.""
~ Chuck Baldwin, Constitution Party Presidential Candidate.
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As Congress considers a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street and the banking sector, there are calls to restrict the pay and severance packages for CEOs at investment houses, banks and mortgage lenders poised to be benefit from the plan put forward by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

Executives from some of the major investment and commercial banks involved in the financial upheaval and bailout earned hefty paychecks last year, according to proxy statements outlining their salaries, bonuses and stock options:

Lehman Brothers Chairman
Goldman Sachs
American International Group’s chief executive
Morgan Stanley Chairman
Merrill Lynch CEO
JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO
Fannie Mae CEO
Wachovia Corp. Chairman
Seattle-based Washington Mutual
CEOs of large U.S. corporations averaged $10.8 million in total compensation in 2006, more than 364 times the pay of the average U.S. worker, according to the latest survey by United for a Fair Economy.
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