Bing Blog

Plea$e Mr. Feinberg! $ay it ain't $o!

Richie Rich

So it's finally coming down. The pay czar has studied the situation. Thought about it. And declared his intention to send a message. Pay for the top 175 executives at the financial institutions that took a bailout are to have their base pay cut by as much as 90%, and total comp by 50%.  Seven companies will be affected. Of course, we don't know precisely which executives are on the hook, but I think we can draw our own conclusions.

America has been waiting for quite some time to see some green blood in the water, and this move only begins to address the underlying rage our nation feels at Wall Street and its minions. Still, you have to feel a twinge of empathy for these 175 individuals who are the first to shoulder the blame for all that our financial institutions have done to screw up our economy. Thousands were involved, of course, but these 175 must stand in the forefront of their cadre, trembling, as their golden parachutes are folded up and put away, their ceremonial swords broken over the knee of the government.

Think of the sacrifices that these few, unlucky individuals will have to bear! Here are just a few:

  • Significant and immediate cutbacks in philanthropic activity.
  • The new yacht will have to be canceled. Last year's model will have to do.
  • The private jet will have to go. At best a Netjet time share will fill in the gap, but it's quite possible that from here on in some of these folks will have to fly commercial. That's huge.
  • That third home in East Hampton or Malibu will be put on the block; some executives will even be down to just one primary residence.
  • No Easter break in St. Bart's for the entire extended family, and the compound in Martha's Vineyard will have to be leased out for the entire month of August.
  • Taxicabs instead of car and driver. While the occasional limo may be a possibility, waiting time is out of the question.
  • Some club memberships will have to be winnowed out, leaving perhaps only one golf and one beach and tennis club for the foreseeable future.
  • Support payments to former spouses will have to be renegotiated.

Obviously, dire times call for dire measures. Whether the radical actions contemplated by the Federal Government are warranted, or are too much, too soon, has yet to be ascertained.

To follow Stanley Bing on Twitter, go to twitter.com/thebingblog.

74 Comments Add Comment

What about the 100 banks that haqve failed this year????

Or they just leave the company, start their own firms, and take their clients with them. Which drains capital out of these banks, hurting their reserve ratio so the price of capital goes up and it takes longer for them to pay out the TARP money if even at all. You need to take an course in common sense, these people are rich and powerful because they're smarter than the average bear. Its just like raising the income tax rate, people are going to react by finding away around anything.

Actually, I was kind of hoping for some tarring and feathering.

This would have two salutory effects:

1. A warning to others not to engage in such avaricious behavior.

2. Entertainment for us. Lots more fun than seeing who can dance or who gets voted off the island.

I think it is a little scary when the gov't takes a role in your pay. I wonder what the felling would be if this comes down the ladder to all.
What about the top govt officials that have tied themselves with the big core group of wallstreet execs. One must remember when they saw those nice returns on their investments we didnt dispute pay or bonus packages. I do agree on accountability but not from the govt not this way>

wrong, they will leave and go to companies that will pay them what they are worth and then the government will be left with a pool of spares to lead these companies.Only the obama gov't would buy companies and slash the top people's salaries and run them off. That makes a lot of sense.....

That assumes, of course, that the 175 executives elect to stay and accept the new government dictated compensation packages.

The more interesting question is this: if they won't, who will?

FED is a little to late, but late is better than nothing! CEO get pay too much! CEO total compensation should be less than 10 mils and only 1 mils in cash, the rest will be on long term comp.

Good for the companies to do away with corporate exec perks, such as car and drivers. Let's see if those execs can live off bonuses that the federal employees themselves get. Let's go further and limit the salary of any CEO under government bailout to the salary of any given Congressman and comparable pay down the line. Heck, my agency even stopped taking out the trash: we have to do it ourselves. Can you see bankers taking out their own trash?

Fine if someone wants to pay a guy that much. But we should tax anyone making over 10 million a year at a, say, 99% rate. I'd bet the majority of people would support that.

Aw, so we're going to lose the stellar talents of the guys who gambled away our retirement funds?

Let's see... retain and reward the folks who tipped us all over the brink, or hand the reins to some admittedly untested folks who DON'T have a track record of screwing up royally?

I'm for giving a new team a chance. They can't do worse than the CEO's we're kicking to the curb!

I understand the anger and frustration - nobody is saying they aren't guilty of some amount of deceit and manipulation, and nobody is suggesting they should get off scott-free, but look at the bigger picture here: THE GOVERNMENT IS GIVING ITSELF THE POWER TO REGULATE THE PAY OF PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES!!...Is that the kind of power we want our government to have? Knowing history (especially the repeated power abuses of all governments throughout history) can annyone really say that they will stop here? On it's face, this is clearly unconstitutional, and taken to it's logical extreme, we are setting ourselves up to be the next Soviet Union. People will read this and say that I am blowing it out of proportion, they will say that would never happen. I would answer their charge by reminding them of the fact that it only took Hitler 38 DAYS to completely dissolve Germany's constitution. What do you think the Jews of the 1930's were saying as they were being dragged away to death camps right in front of their non-Jewish neighbors: "surely this is not happening in our civilized society?!"...but it did happen, and it can happen again, don't fool yourself

If these people were really worth this much money how could they have put their organizations in the position of begging the government for billions of dollars? If another company hires them and continues to pay them tens/hundreds of millions there stupid. What should've happened is the US government should've let these businesses fail. How much is an exec really worth if they destroyed a multi billion dollar business.

What a sad column, Bing. I couldn't stop crying. In fact, I'm still crying now. I suggest we take up a collection for those poor, unfortunate 175 executives to help them recover from their terrible loss. I don't care if I have to live in a cardboard box, like the one I'm living in now. Darn it, I want to help those poor executives. I'm sure everyone does.
Please send your checks to
Tim Martin
1230 Adamsson Court
McKinleyville, California 95519
I'll make sure the money gets to the right place. I promise.

Mr. Feinberg undoubtedly has mentors that he looks back on and no doubt consults with when he needs input on a decision; Like many other professionals do, of course.

Now, those perpetrators that use Ponzi, and the likes, as mentors have no concept of damage caused by reckless abandonment of ethics and sound governing business principles.

We might say that we won't see felines and rodents cuddling together breaking cheese.

There are saints and sinners. We'd like to hope they would balance out; but, when sinners powered by greed overwhelm the system, the angels must dawn their armour, draw their swords, and draw that line in the sand.

Mr. Feinberg is to be congratulated for limiting these rodents access to the crumbs they created by behaving like a bunch drunken fiscal cowboys when the corral gates were left open.

Mr. Feinberg has won the latte award, in my opinion.

The pay cut announcement is on cnn.com along with an article saying that 7,000 people are losing their unemployment coverage EVERY DAY.

I know who gets my sympathy, and it sure isn't the knuckleheads on Wall Street who caused this mess and now want to be rewarded for it.

Cut their pay to $100K. If they leave, give their job to the kid in the mail room - he couldn't do any worse and the organization would save a bundle.

I think everyone should re-read that list and think about all of the JOBS that will be lost when that list of things stop happening. Rich people make a lot of money and they SPEND a lot of money which gives lots of people good jobs in this country.

1) Charities hurt and thus people who need money and services from those charities such as homeless (food/shelter) and sick (cancer etc..)

2) Boat builders and engineers laid off due to decreased demand.

3) Aerospace engineers and manufacturers laying off people due to decreased demand

4) More homes on an already saturated market

5) Less money for travel services such as airlines, hotels and restarauts. They lay people off.

6) No car and driver - Immediate layoff for driver is one more unemployed and one less car on demand for already struggling auto industry

7) Less club memberships means they may not need those high school kids next summer to groom courses and do other summer maintenance jobs.

8) OK I don't really feel sorry for overcompensated ex's, however they are also spending money on things so see above list.

PS -

I also would like to say that I was in favor of NOT bailing out anyone. Either take all the money back and let them fail or stop whining about how the billions of dollars we chose to give them is spent. You don't get to have it both ways.

Don't have much of a problem with limiting CEO's pay....it will be interesting to see how many leave. The concern isn't over Ken Lewis or Jamie Dimon leaving, it's the Deal Makers under them. The ones who have the book of business and generate millions in revenues for these institutions (and are paid generously to do so). I assume they're gone already.

On another note, I hope Bing can write a similar post about any/all Americans who maxed out their credit card and leveraged up their HELOC to pay for vacations homes, expensive cars, etc. These folks have been "bailed out" as well. Where's the venom for all these guys? Some of them are probably posting messages crying about executive pay. Get over it....if you only make $50K/year....don't buy a BMW.....

Taking into account how effectively they have stolen billions of TARP funds, I would not worry about their financial stability.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15420

The cutting of pay seems very capricious, but then so was the rescue of their companies. Still, I wonder what capriciousness I may be subject to going forward. I prefer the free market approach with a govt safety net.

The govt will get neither the pay cuts nor bailouts right, so the prospect that one compensates for the other is ludicrous.

So then these jokers would leave atking clients with, starting new businesses, and bringing the megabanks back down to s size that isn't "too big to fail" ? sounds like a winner all around to me!!!

Socialist america here we come, what everyone fails to realize is that most of the stuff that was mentioned that the execs will have to cut back will affect the living of the people who provide those things. Like the driver who won't have a job now, the yacht company will have to lay off, the charities will lost money and the home builders won't have a home to build or the realtor won't have a house to sell. The St Bart's staff will probably have to be cut the private jet company will not build another plane and the crew will have to find other work. When Rich people spend there money, it benefits others. The banks are NOT helping people with this money, so to let them keep it, well its a mistake. Think about it.

Kent-
You should bear in mind that the companies being affected are the ones that accepted government money. You dance with them that brung ya, as the old saying goes. They're free to pay back the money whenever they want. By the way- even with the salary cuts (which are more structured to incentify long-term success rather than simply punish offenders) I'm betting you can find one or two very qualified people to run the show. Just a hunch.

Oh and by the way, the execs will probably just leave the companies and go elsewhere, leaving the companies with less talented execs, and causing even less of a chance that the government will ever sell the companies back to the private sect, thus keeping the government in control. Silly us thinking the government was out to help. Lets just let the government make new taxes and control private companies. Not to mention if you keep this up the rich are rich enough to move away from higher taxes, the middle class isn't. So when we drive most of the rich from the country, then the taxes will fall right back on the middle class. Hmmmmm

You have been completely taken in by the finger pointers in Washington. After years of bending banks over to make loans to low-credit inviduals in the name of providing affordable housing and a political agenda aimied at promoting home ownership, the individual's whose policies created this mess are now scapegoating bankers. Washington subsidized these borrowers with tax payer money to promote policies of no money down and "creative financing" in an effort to support a political agenda. What created the financial crisis is simple - people quit paying their mortgages. When 66% of the mortgages in CA are interest only loans (or worse yet, interest optional loans) and about a third of the borrowers are speculators who are buying multiple homes, who should we say is guilty of greed? Now it has blown up and nobody is addressing the right issues. More regulation? It was regulation and government intervention in the market that got us into this problem to begin with. Calling out Main Street and taking the blame in Washington doesn't seem expedient and you have drunk the Kool-aid.

If you have been following the news lately, chances are you have heard plenty of talk about how the Federal Reserve’s actions are fueling a decline in the value of the dollar. As part of the economic stimulus package, the Federal Reserve has had to keep interest rates at historic lows (thereby making the “price” of dollars very cheap) while borrowing enormous quantities of money from foreign and domestic lenders. These actions have weakened the dollar against several foreign currencies.

It is important to keep an eye on the decline in the value of the dollar versus other currencies. It is often a precursor to inflation and a signal for you to start protecting yourself against inflation.

For more go to http://www.themoneyladder.com

In the world of mergers and acquisitions were everybody makes huge money because of retention bonuses, still a shame that employees from a company like Merrill Lynch which was almost broke and it was saved by regulators and taxpayers had feast of billions while many middle class people are fighting every day to survived this severe crisis. I feel a little bet satisfied this administration is doing something to cut these non sense inequalities.

Marcelo Bonilla, Huntington NY

You forgot one:

They leave and get consulting jobs, with the chinese and the banks of India, working from the comforts of thier homes or yachts traveling first class to thise countries and teaching them how to become the biggest banking and investment firms in the world and we lose again, to all the people that are happy someone is being told how much they can make by the government I say wait your chance is coming, we have a minumum wage and soon there will be a maximum wage for all. To those suffering this goverment strong arm I say congrats welcome to the world of consultancy!

"Fine if someone wants to pay a guy that much. But we should tax anyone making over 10 million a year at a, say, 99% rate. I’d bet the majority of people would support that."

Only the communists, socialists, and people green with envy over the achievements of others would support this.

Most people that are crying for this to happen are the same people that probably would complain if it happen to them. I also think that most of these people are also part of the reason for collapse. We can blame all these execs but bottom line is, you signed the mortgage docs that said the loan was adjustable, you signed the document with false income on it, jsut so you can have that home!! With that being said...The bottom line that we should be looking at the fact the government is now controling what CEO's Make!! It starts with bailout banks, we let them control this, they will want to control more!! What took place today is a sign of communism!!! Funny how BO and many of his cabinet members are far left winged commi supporters!!!

I appreciate the fact that the gov't wants to step up and smack around these CEO's making millions while their companys had a hand in creating the worst recession of all time. I see 'normal' people everyday who work just as hard as they do who are going through REAL nightmares (job loss, foreclosure, etc), not what these exec will go through when they lose out on their ridiculously high pay. I can see it now, "oh god what am I going to do w/o the yacht and the private jet!"

These organizations needed to fail.

At best, cultures of gross ineptitude and at worst "near" criminal ones.

Had we taken our medicine this compensation issue would be moot.

Instead, no one knows when or if this pathogen will be neutralized.

"You need to take an course in common sense, these people are rich and powerful because they’re smarter than the average bear."

To Mark-Anthony From Atlanta, GA: Apparently, you to spend more time around rich people. I think you will be quite surprised as to what you find. Contrary to popular belief, wealth in this country is not equally distributed based on a person's intellect and hard work.

All those executives can go to hell. They have been theiving and stealing from the middle class and poor for a long time. I do not feel any remorse. They should all be investigated so they can be exposed. You would see more than just Madoff being imprisoned. I don't care if they go and start their own companies. Tax their asses some more. Balance this thing out. Enough is enough already. Deal with it. Spread the wealth.

Someone needs to step up and form a union to protect the rights of these workers.

Anyone who would be qualified enough for a position of that nature could easily resign and get a job somewhere else. However, 50% of their compensation would equal out to what 10 million instead of 20? I feel that the government is getting way to involved with the entire (financial, automobile, healthcare, economy) systems and all "the government" does is argue back and forth and none of them have "our" best interests in the focus of the discussion.

Nice blog topic Bing. Entertaining, but not quite as entertaining as the blog entries by participants who worry about the loss of such rare and exquisite executive talent. Oh, the horror!

Their firms took TARP money (taxpayer money for the logic impaired out there)...so now the government gets a say in how the firms are managed (and how cretinous execs are compensated for their ineptitude).

Do I think government will get it all right? Of course not, but if I'm helping foot the bill I have even less faith in the bozos who ran these firms into the ground than I do in the average bureaucrat. At least we'll get to pay them far less for effing everything up! It will be a bargain.

It's worth it just to hear the business community's whining about socialism, government intervention, the end of the free market, and whatever handwringing fox news hysteria they can manage to sling into the mix.

Do I hope that it leads to even greater government intervention in the so-called free market....you can bet your life on it. This will be quite popular with a rapidly emerging voting demographic.

Take what comfort you can in the fact that in about 30 years various business historians will acknowlege the near 'death-camp' like progromatic abuse the business community suffered at the hands of government. Maybe you'll even get a museum, or a best selling book from the era ...('Diary of a Young Tarp CEO' has a nice ring to it).

Kent, you're either a brilliant satirist, or a very silly man. Either way, thanks for the laugh!

As a Shareholder I'm often frustrated by my lack of say in C level pay. As A tax payer I'm furious. This is a good step. I want to see legislation regarding improve shareholder power.

qah so it has come to the self righteous attacking the successful. what happens when someone without a job says you that have jobs ( no matter what you make ) should make less. I tis just like the self righteous that proclain the need for prayer in school. I always wonder what willm happen when there IS prayer in school and at prayer time more than half of the people in the room are kneeling to the east. What will the good christian souls think then.Same here, it sounds good until they come for you.

I want to be the highest paid guy at mega bank who is not affected by the pay cuts. Just imagine the executive meeting where the poor super senior guys bring PB & J sandwiches and the unaffected super senior manager say " lunch at la cirque OK?" Boys and girls not affected say "no thanks" to that big promotion, replacing Mr. Big who left for richer pastures.

Just like bailing out big banks, private companies, for profit organizations from tax payers money is unfair and unjust, so is arbitrarily restricting the pay for the top execs. They might simply leave. Two wrongs don't make a right. If anything Govt. shouldn't have put any money in those institutions at all which created moral hazard and allowed the execs to give themselves huge bonuses.

Wow. So they blow billions of dollars in investments and somehow think they should continue to just arbitrarily pay themselves vast sums of money. Sure, why not? After all the only check on them without the govt is their greedy, crooked friends who want to do the same for themselves. Is it scary to have the govt involved in limiting pay? Maybe, but it's scarier to leave the thieves unchecked.

No govt control? Lets not forget capitalism left unchecked required child labor laws to prevent these same scumbag, should be sent to jail thieves, from making money off of 10 year olds. Human nature being what it is someone needs to put some checks on the people who left unchecked, would turn everyone into slaves if it meant they could make an extra buck.

i am middle class and a few years ago lowere middle class.but to me it seems the people all the people for socialism and government regulating pay,social health,and lets not forget how obama tokk it upon himself in the gm deal to decide who got what and threw contracts out.are people who do not pay federal taxes.if so probably very little.if you paid taxes you would not want the government controlling everything.it is the rich that pays most of the federal taxes in this country.my taxes and lower middle class really dont contribute squat compared to what the wealthy pay.personnally i blame the people that lived well above their means.i have always lived well below my means.but now my house has half the value it did when i bought it.i still pay for it because thats what i signed for.for those who lost their jobs my heart sincerely goes out to you.but our government demanded loans be given out to people to who could not afford it.mannie mae,freddie mac.and those people instead of buying a starter home they had to go for the gusto.also how about all the amateur investers.if you are not paying federal taxes then really its not your taxes spent.if you forclosed on your home for any other reason then losing your job.such as getting in over your head you should be strung up along with the banks.lastly the government could have stopped this fiasco but their egos and greed did not.

Ok, I have heard enough about how talented these people are and how they will just leave. I am sorry, I do not consider anyone talented when they run their company and our economy into the ground. Granted, it is not all their fault, but they are the only ones that got bailed out. Those that bought the BMW and could not afford it LOST their BMW to the repo man. These people got to keep theirs, yours, and mine. I am sure when they do try to leave and apply to a successful/honest company and they are sitting accross the desk of the hiring manager and they see what company they just left/ruined... I am sure that new company will just JUMP at that opportunity... get real, they will tell them, "ok, thank you for your time, and we will be in touch, so don't call us we will call you!"

>> Or they just leave the company, start their own firms, and take their clients with them. Which drains capital out of these banks, hurting their reserve ratio so the price of capital goes up and it takes longer for them to pay out the TARP money if even at all. You need to take an course in common sense, these people are rich and powerful because they’re smarter than the average bear. Its just like raising the income tax rate, people are going to react by finding away around anything.
>>
They are very smart. That's why these companies are in such a mess. Give us a break. The only problem is they had too much power and were able to dictate their salaries. It's high time someone did something with the executive compensation. The boards as well as the compensation committees are pretty much useless. It is a good thing that the government is doing something about it.

Many comments made about money and the people working in the money field; but whose protecting the country that's making all this possible for the big bucks people who have a job?

Don't look now, but people dealt out of the money game and unemployed have an option to join the military to stop bullets keeping this country safe for the money junkies to brandish their private yachts and private jets.

To Jim - yes, a very good point, however, many articles I have read about this also include Sen Chuck Schumer's comments on how he intends to apply this to ALL publicly traded companies. IT's not that I think this is a bad idea, per se - it's just that our government (or any government, really) doesn't appear to have a good track record of giving unnecessary power back to the people once a 'problem' that required it has been solved. The issue is not that we don't have regulatory rules in place - the issue is that we never enforced them - I say let's enforce the one on the books rather than create a 'big brother' type regulatory system that only eventually leads to socialism. I don't want a gov't that can decide how my boss gets paid - they should not have that power.
To Mike - unfortunately, I am neither a satirist nor a silly man.
I know it’s an extreme example – one that not many people reading this will understand. I made it extreme to emphasize a point. Do I think Obama is like Hitler? No, not in the least….but the fact is this: he is setting things in motion, politically, that eventually will only have a certain outcome: and that outcome will not be a sweet utopia. Remember, it is your direction, not your intention that determines your destination. I used the Hitler example to illustrate how bad things can get, how quickly they can get that way, and how all those supposedly “normal, intelligent, educated” people around us can be horribly blind all at the same time to what the government can do right in front of them

Corporations own the Senate, House and White House. Hence they own the United States. I see the TARP money as a simple taking of dividends from a subsidiary. It was smart business, and the executives who made that decision should be rewareded. If the employess of USA, Inc don't like it, they can always find someplace else to work. Subsidiaries need to know their place in the grand scheme of the company.

To Jim in Newport and Mike in Spokane -- your smugness with regard to CEO pay is duly noted. :)

And I agree.

Nearly 50 comments. Way to go, Stanley, I think you've really struck a nerve here.

Maybe we need "Salary Slicing Part II - Revenge of the Decompensated".

A Token Gesture to fool the foolish into thinking that there is some justice in this ripoff of the taxpayer..

In the Carney world it is called slight of hand,,,keep your eye fixed on what we do to the CEO's,,while we pick your pockets..

Let's face it people,,,you have been royaly screwed for Billions and bought off with a few neat tricks preformed on a couple of dozen high profile people...

To Steve, I'll see your smugness, and raise you two smugness levels!

The Wall Street firms should go back to being privately held.

Look at Goldman Sachs. They are about to paying out their largest bonuses ever. Their stock price is still lower than it was 2 years agos. GS' dividend rate is still the same as it was 3 years ago.

Employees of the publicly traded firms are taking all of reward with none of the risk. If more of their net worth and bonuses were tied up in the firm; we might see some behavior changes in the executives of the firms. Even if they didn't change behavior; they would take the hit for the company's failure.

People who put equity capital into businesses typically get a seat at the table when exec comp is set. The companies that received and not repaid federal capital should not be surprised at their new investors wanting to have a say. It's a reasonable request.

However, the recent news (which came out subsequent to Bing's blog post) about the Fed's guidance on pay practices across the industry is a horse of a different color. The only government guidance on maximum pay that I have seen is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" and we saw how that worked out. Minimum wage standards I get: maximum wage limits I don't.

Well, we sure got long-winded on this one!

To really add insult to injury, just remember that they really don't care what we think. And USA, Inc, (a division of Goldman-Sachs) will pay these guys in some way that we won't know about. When you own the politicians, you own the republic.

Bing. The angry populist supporting heavy handed government should bring about redistributive justice thing is getting sort of old. Can you bring back the level-headed practical business guy we used to know and love? We miss you over here with the group of people who still believe in Freedom vs. Pay Czars.

Whenever one of Bing's blog columns ventures into something of wider interest to the general population it always generates a lot of comments from outside the business community. Most other business columns provide little entertainment, and a great deal of tired pro-business anti-government blather (as could be expected).

The average business person doesn't stray much from media very supportive of their world view, isn't given to much self-introspection, and certainly displays little intellectual rigor. Such an insular attitude, where one simply engages in exchanges that reinforce group thought is comforting, but blinds the participants to the mounting outrage and disgust the general public has for business.

We can rail all we want about popular disdain feeding ill-advised moves towards massive over-regulation by vote seeking politicians, and its probable outcome of 'killing the goose that lays the golden egg', but the reality is that most Americans would really like to play whack-a-mole with most CEO's heads. The public doesn't see itself as the recipient of any of those golden eggs.

This recession/depression/jobless recovery will likely last many years. We have many millions of young adults now forming a lifelong worldview that not only doesn't revere business but regards it as system designed to rip-off people like themselves(a pretty accurate opinion in my estimation). You can expect them to vote their own interests (which don't include helping the business community continue its present practices in the hope that some of trickle-down from your golden egg will reach them). In fact, trickle-down died with your financial god, President Reagan.

Intelligent business people will realize these factors, and try to adapt, but I'm afraid the bulk of you will be pulled kicking and screaming into a future that punishes the greed you regard as a virtue.

@Jerry... +1! :-)

As much as the blood in the water may be deserved, everyone’s and all individual liberties are at risk when the cutting knife is wielded by government. Plus, the blame should first be shouldered by certain individuals in Congress.

techgm from Atlanta - I agree with you 100%!

The companies gave up independence to set pay when they required massive gov't funds to prevent their failure. Replacements for the executives that don't want to clean up their own mess should do just fine. What's telling is the readiness to jump ship when the going gets tough. Nobody likes working with disloyal wimps.

I think that most of you are missing the point. It isn't about these executives. (Although I don't know that anyone has proven that these are the guys that caused the crisis...seems to me that many of those guys are gone.)

The point is this: if you are one of the best and brightest, one of the up and comers in the financial world, and you have your pick of companies to work for, do you choose the one where the government is dictating salaries at a 90% discount to everyone else?

Ultimately this will lead to increasing turn-over at these companies, failure to build company loyalty and then less competitive firms that can't compete.

Failed firms. Lost TARP money. Yep, that sounds like it's in everyones best interest.

breaks my heart. those talented few who broke the bank(s) and then ultimately saddled you and me with the fallout. i wonder if i couldn't do better.

ILoveCap:

I don't think you need to worry about Jamie Dimon going anywhere. JP Morgan only receieved $25 billion in TARP, and they paid it back in full back in June. They're out from under the thumb, so to speak.

There have been a lot of comments here about newbies/replacements taking over the jobs of the executives if they want to leave.

It's a nice rhetorical flourish, but patently silly. It's like saying if the Bears players all went on strike, the owners would just go grab some dudes to fill their pads by offering below-market wages. We all know the team would be horrible and get steamrolled by the competition. The same thing will happen to the banks.

On second thought, it might actually help the Bears this year if they did that. Point retracted.

Kent- You make good points. I've just never liked "slippery-slope" hyperbole, it is usually a cheap shot argument. I don't think we'll ever see the government getting too mixed up in pay scales for executives not on the teat- there would be just too many issues. And, let's face it, this would require the Democrats actually coming together and agreeing en masse on a topic- which seems to be an impossible dream. With all the money floating into legislators' pockets, I just don't think it's gonna happen. I also agree that we need to look at competently enforcing laws, rather than going overboard. Unfortunately, government is all too often reactionary- they ignore the problems in the system until everything hits the fan, and then they go crazy. I'm actually in the mortgage business, trust me I know all about this.

If these executives aren't at fault; then let them come out and tell us so! Silence is as much a part of speech as speech itself.

Silence is denial--Madoff and Ponzi worshippers didn't come out and confess their lust for sin money, the SEC had no choice but to bust them, or they themselves would face the chopping block!

Let's get a F------ life!

Perhaps these execs will depart their employers and move to such exotic bastions of capitalism as say...North Korea...Iran...Zimbabwe...the growth potential is endless

Organizations through the years recognized that nepotism is an HRM cancer that slowly destroys quality of work life in an organization.

Madoff is an classic example of how nepotism plays into the financial life of financial gurus who choose to play exclusively within the family paramaters.

Families who play togehter fray together!

"The Feinberg Solution" could best be compared to

a. napalm

b. a bunker buster

c. a cruise missle

d. torpedo

e. atomic bomb

f. hydrogen bomb

g. a shaken not stirred extra
dry martini

h. The Heimlich Maneuver

Please justify your response in 30 or more billable hours.

I thought someone should congratulate Bing on the brilliant double-meaning of "$o" in the title of this post.

You certainly can hire smart people at half, if not one third, of the compensation of the actual "genies". Those "too big to fail institutions" are also "too big to manage and control", so those guys do not really have an idea of what are they doing and how those beasts behave, we would not be in this mess if they did, so you do not really need an ivy league educated guy to be at the front of these 'institutions", you do not need MBA's, you just need a suave, smooth talker, charismatic, funny, good looking puppet. You can hire one for a third or even a fourth of the actual salary. Heck! I will do it for a fourth, the only problem is that I'm not good looking!!!! Come on guys, admit it, those CEO's are really nothing but a bunch bags filled with hot air.

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