WHO PAYS FOR CEO MISMANAGEMENT?

Should you be well-paid for doing shoddy work? If you answered “yes” you might have a future as a Wall Street banker.

Should you be well-paid for doing shoddy work? If you answered “yes” you might have a future as a Wall Street banker.

Associated Press recently analyzed the 2007 compensation paid to top executives of 116 banks that have since received billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts. The shoddy work done by these executives led the massive losses for the banks and a disastrous crash of our country’s economy – yet, each of them walked away with multimillion-dollar rewards.

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Take the golden example of Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. He hauled in a $54-million paycheck for his work in 2007, plus another $233,000 for his limo and chauffer. The investment bank asserts that such a swell sum was necessary in order to attract and motivate executives “whose efforts and judgments are vital to our continued success.” Only… Blankfein’s efforts and judgments produced Goldman’s first quarterly loss in a decade, required the firm to completely restructure its business, and cost taxpayers $10 billion in bailout money.

The AP report revealed another compensation detail that would be terribly amusing if it didn’t make you want to scream in fury. It shows that one of the chief perks doled out to the bankers was extra pay to cover “personal financial advice” for them. These wizards were running shaky investment schemes that wrought financial ruin across our land, yet they were having their own hands held by financial counselors at company expense. Top executives at Wells Fargo, for example, drew up to $20,000 each in 2007 to get personal money guidance, even though their guidance of the bank led to a $25-billion bailout from us taxpayers.

Shouldn’t Congress be requiring at least partial paybacks from these hotshots as a price of the public having to cover their banking mismanagement?

“AP study finds $1.6B went to bailed-out bank execs,” www.yahoo.com, December 22, 2008.

“Goldman Sachs turns in first loss after 10 years,” www.timesonline.co.uk, December 17, 2008.

“Goldman Sachs Reports $2.1 Billion Quarterly Loss,” www.nytimes.com, December 17, 2008.

“Bankers and Their Salaries,” The New York Times, September 19, 2008.

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

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