You think you've got financial problems, Bucko? It's time you considered the squeeze that others are feeling. For example, CEOs.

You think you’ve got financial problems, Bucko? It’s time you considered the squeeze that others are feeling. For example, CEOs.

Yeah, they’re paid a bundle, but that comes with its own problems, such as tax bills to pay, country club dues to cover, and security cost to protect CEOs from riff-raff like you. Who do you think shells out for these expenses, bucko?

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Well, a group named 24/7 Wall Street has probed into that question. Sure enough, even the most fabulously-paid CEOs treat these personal expenses as perks to be paid – not by them – but by shareholders.

For example, Occidental Petroleum Chieftain Ray Irani’s paycheck was more than $30 million last year. To dodge all the taxes he owed on that, Ray incurred $391,000 in accounting and legal fees. No problem, though – he just passed the bill to Oxy’s shareholders.

Another pricey problem for corporate high-flyers is transportation. You might have trouble getting your employer even to pay for the gas you use on company business, but then you’re not Michael Jeffries, boss of Abercrombie & Fitch. He was paid a handsome $38 million last year, but he still billed the toney haberdasher $639,000 for his personal use of the corporate airplane.

How about executive bodyguards? Oracle’s top dog, Larry Ellison, is a high-techer who keeps downsizing and offshoring his workforce, even as he upsizes his own take. Last year, he upsized to an eye-poping $84 million in pay, the highest of any CEO. Perhaps feeling a bit vulnerable, Larry got Oracle to pay $1.4 million for a security detail to protect him.

Even if you’re not a shareholder, you get to help pay for such executive perks, since the corporations pass along these expenses to us taxpayers. To see more of what you’re paying for go to

“Outrageous CEO Perks: This Year’s Top Picks,”, November 11, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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