Wall Street pay packages … well, you know what they did

According to an analysis from Bloomberg, CEO compensation for the nation’s 50 biggest financial companies “collectively rose by an average of 20.4 percent in 2011 — a year when most big banks and brokerages saw their revenues, profits and stock prices plummet. The 2011 pay rise followed a 26 percent increase in 2010 for CEOs who held the same job in both years …

“Overall, 33 of the 50 biggest financial companies had negative share returns in their 2011 fiscal years, as they were buffeted, particularly in the second half of the year, by a series of crises that froze the deal markets.”

So let me see if I’ve got this financial CEO gig figured out:

In a bad year in which you produce negative returns for your shareholders and most Americans are just happy to have a job, you increase your multi-million-dollar pay package by an average of 20 percent. Over a two-year period, your already extravagant compensation jumps a total of 50 percent on average.

And of course, all this follows a really really bad year, a historically bad year in which all the high-risk bets that you place go wrong and threaten to bring down the global economy. The collapse is so complete that the federal government is forced to come in and bail out your industry with hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.

But do you feel the slightest bit chagrined or humble? Hell no. In fact, if the feds then try to insist on tighter regulations, telling you that they don’t want to have to bail out your sorry butts next time, you pout and whine about how you feel unappreciated and put-upon, and you then dump a few spare million into the campaigns of politicians who are willing to kiss your ring and tell you how wonderful you are.

Did I get that right?

– Jay Bookman

757 comments Add your comment

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:07 am

Scout,

Thank you for fighting for my freedom. I wouldn’t dream of wasting your sacrifices by rolling over like a good little girl. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:07 am

Scout,

Matti done got all riled up. When she starts preaching the class warfare nonsense as if wage laborers are slaves in this country you know she’s gone off the deep end. I can only surmise that she’s just upset about Wisconsin and has just gone headlong into a lot of emotional rants that make no sense whatsoever.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:07 am

Ooooo! Firsties!

They BOTH suck

June 6th, 2012
12:07 am

“I will go to bed tonight and sleep like a baby !”

I do that almost every night…….

getalife

June 6th, 2012
12:08 am

doomy,

You know our founders would never be for unlimited bribes but you are not man enough to admit this fact.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:08 am

Thulsa,

No actually, it’s pretty much that you just creep me out when you start explaining when to bow and when to kiss. EWWWWWW!

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
12:09 am

Scott Walker wins recall effort by close to 10%. Organized labor and the Dems fail to persuade the voters. Walker was voted in to office by the voters of Wisconsin and Obama’s minions sic the Fed on him in a failed attempt to regain the governorship of Wisconsin for the Dems. The Fed was sent a message. Stay out of state’s right to elect their governor. Count Wisconsin in the Repub camp for the 1st time since 1984 when Reagan kicked Carter’s butt back to Plains.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:12 am

Matti,

I just gave you a cultural explanation on the difference between the 2. There’s nothing creepy about that. You’re just spouting baseless nonsense because your lack of knowledge of other cultural traditions and customs was exposed. I asked you to explain exactly and specifically what was creepy about my explanation and all you can do is just regurgitate gobbledeegook.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
12:15 am

Obama has “evolved” to believe states have right to decide on same sex marriages and the Fed should not interfere. His selective use of state’s rights when it suits him is obvious. He is opposed to state’s rights 99% of the time.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:16 am

Oblama,

Good point. He’s all for state’s rights- when it suits him of course.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
12:18 am

Wisconsin is going to show the Dems just how much they resent this Fed interference in state’s right to elect their governor.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:21 am

Oblama is right. Organized labor and the Dems failed to persuade. This was absolutely a failure on the part of the Democrats. Our President weighed the risks of taking a stand on this one, and gambled on stepping out. It was a roll of the dice either way, but this will not bode well for him.

See, perfectly capable of rational analysis when not being icked out by creepy talk.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
12:24 am

Corporate pay raises should be based on performance but they don’t need Obama to tell them how to run a private business. If Obama wants to cut back exorbitant pay raises he should start with Congress.

JKL2

June 6th, 2012
12:26 am

Jm- Will the loonies finally leave the WI Capitol?

They may have left the Capitol Building, but you will never be able to clear out the socialist republic of Madison.

getalife

June 6th, 2012
12:27 am

Sadly, the last two terms of gop power that pretty much collapsed our country was not a lesson learned for the cons. They want some more disasters.

They are half our country and they always vote and march lock step with their corrupt party.

They won this small battle but the war is in November.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
12:29 am

Getting late……… gone today – here tomorrow.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:30 am

JKL2,

The loonies left the capital building in Wisconsin and are now being bussed by their overlords to the next OWS riot.

JKL2

June 6th, 2012
12:31 am

getalife- We will not rub it in like you cons

I guess you were sleeping thru 2006 and 2008…

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:31 am

I see Matti still can’t specifically point to what was said about greeting customs that was “creepy”. No surprise there.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:32 am

Y’all do know that the loonies in WI don’t have to leave the Capitol, right? Well, unless Koch tells Walker to instigate Marshall law. Otherwise, we still live under the pretense of a free country. (Sure, it’s all fun and games until the tear gas and tazers come out! Hahaha!)

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:32 am

Thulsa,

In a word: YOU.

getalife

June 6th, 2012
12:34 am

jk,

I was here.

I will just be relieved that we will survive at least four more years because like President Clinton said, “the alternative (gop) will be calamitous for our country and the world”

You know, w..

JKL2

June 6th, 2012
12:35 am

Thulsa- The loonies left the capital building in Wisconsin and are now being bussed by their overlords to the next OWS riot.

The Democrats didn’t turn out to vote today because they were too busy hiding out at the Holiday Inn of Burr Ridge, IL with their Senators…

G Mare 71(PLEASE VOTE NO ON TSPLOST)

June 6th, 2012
12:37 am

Matti, you rock! We may never beat ‘em, but we will NEVER join ‘em.

JKL2

June 6th, 2012
12:39 am

getalife- You know, w..

last I checked, barack obama doesn’t have the letter w in it…

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:41 am

G Mare 71,

Haha! Thanks. Yes, we get it. They will too…. about five minutes after it’s too late.

ken

June 6th, 2012
12:44 am

How much do BHO’s Czars make ?

Oscar

June 6th, 2012
12:45 am

I just came on and read the piece and comments back a couple of pages. Entertaining, I will say.

As for the topic of the piece, the CEOs compose the boards on each other companies. It’s all interlocked, and they vote the raises because they think the same way.
It’s up to the stockholders to control the pay scale, and there have been some efforts to get compensation on the proxies that are sent out. But with the number of stockholders it’s pretty hard and expensive to organize anything.
At present, all the stockholders can vote on is to elect the board members and their choices are limited to those picked by a commitee, so not much help there.

Some countries have laws limiting the amount of pay based on a multiple of the basic workers pay. Say fifty times the earnings of the gay doing the heavy lifting. That’s the only way to control it.

Fifty years ago CEO averaged forty times the floor worker. Today it’s about five hundred times. Seems to me it;s time to consider asking our elected representatives to pass a law.

getalife

June 6th, 2012
12:46 am

We beat them before and will do it again.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:47 am

Matti, Just what I expected from ya. You couldn’t point out anything “creepy” about the difference in social customs so you just resort to saying I’m creepy. Weak.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:47 am

JKL2,

You sure they are at the Holiday Inn? I think they’re hanging out at Bill Ayer’s house in Chicago.

Oscar

June 6th, 2012
12:52 am

I want to amend my comment above. There is another way besides passing a law. That would be the unions getting CEO pay scale inserted into the union agreement.
It’s basically either action by legislation, or by union contract. Or keep going the way we are.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
12:55 am

Thulsa,

What part of my earlier five posts to you were at a reading level beyond your comprehension? It wasn’t what you were explaining, it was (a) that you brought it up (b) that you were explaining it as if the readers here are in kindergarten, and (c) that you can’t let it go. Creep check, check, and check. There are seminars you can take to communicate more tactfully. I know, my boss sent me once.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
12:56 am

“Some countries have laws limiting the amount of pay based on a multiple of the basic workers pay”

Oscar,

Are you sure about that? I know that some countries have recommended guidelines but I didn’t know they had laws. I know in Japan there is or at least was a longstanding policy that a CEO would not be paid more than 200 times the compensation of the lowest paid person in the company.

As for the separation between CEO and regular workers I’m not sure it was greater 50 years ago. I say that because top marginal tax rates were I think 70% way back in the 40s and 50s and weren’t lowered till the Kennedy tax cuts in the early 60s. So its right there at the 50 year mark. I do know that back in the early 1900s that the difference in money between say a Carnegie or Ford and the lowest paid employee was enormous. As a matter of fact Teddy Roosevelt had the death tax passed because at that time the concentration of wealth in the U.S. was becoming dangerous. Something like 20 major families- Rockefellers, Mellons, Vanderbilts, Carnegies,Fords, and others controlled something crazy like 60% of the nation’s wealth and were passing it on. A CEO making 6 or 8 million a year today is never going to reach the status of those kinds of people. Only some startup internet tycoons like the founders of facebook, ebay, youtube, etc are going to reap that kind of money. Stodgy ole CEOs who have to spend 30 years working their way up the corporate ladder will generally not assimilate that kind of wealth unless they work for a private equity firm like Romney did.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
12:59 am

Matti:

Semper Fi and TAPS !

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
1:00 am

getalife:

“They won this small battle but the war is in November.”

That’s the only correct thing you have said in weeks. I commend you !

“MARINES ………. STANDBY TO REPEL BOARDERS !”

Night !!

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
1:01 am

Matti,

Nope. I was simply explaining the cultural difference to you and you alone. I did not treat anyone else like a kindergartner. You however would certainly seem to merit that kind of treatment given the nonsensical emotional rants of your posts. It was clear from your first post that you didn’t understand the cultural difference between a bow and a kiss on the cheeks between two men. Or you did understand but used it as a way to attack Bush in an unfair and rather ludicrous manner.

Oscar

June 6th, 2012
1:03 am

Thulsa Doom

I was thinking about Japan, but i am not sure if its a law or a tradition or guidelins as you stated.

I don’t think we will solve anything tonight but it’s something to think about. I agreed with Teddy on his view of now wanting an aristocracy of a few families in control as they had in Europe in that time. That was his fear back then.

Have a good night, I think it’m out.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
1:10 am

Thulsa,

With all due respect, I’m not the one smooching Saudis on the lips.
http://fromtheleft.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/bushkissingsaudiprince.jpg

Feel free to share your uh… diplomacy as you see fit.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
1:23 am

Matti,

Pretty odd looking photo Matti. Looks either doctored to me or that you can’t really tell what’s going on. After all this is from wordpress which is often just a guy operating from his basement. And if by chance it wasn’t then all it is is that they exchanged the traditional kiss on the cheeks on their lips and faces were just very close. And I think even you know that. For you to try and make a case that they were purposefully kissing on the lips is just plain liberal silliness at its worst. You should know better. Its a real shame that you don’t.

Thulsa Doom

June 6th, 2012
1:24 am

Didn’t realize how late it is. Doomy gonna crash. Ya’ll have a good night.

Tundra Dude

June 6th, 2012
4:34 am

http://fromtheleft.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/bushkissingsaudiprince.jpg

Bush: “I just adore your moustache”
Prince: “Thanks, but watch your hands…there’s people watching”

pogo

June 6th, 2012
5:08 am

Union Thuggery in the US is over. Especially the Public Service Ones. A huge change is about to happen in this country and Wisconsin does not bode well for Obama and merry band of socialists.

Brosephus™ - Public Sector Union member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
5:52 am

Walker was voted in to office by the voters of Wisconsin and Obama’s minions sic the Fed on him in a failed attempt to regain the governorship of Wisconsin for the Dems.

Revisionistic much? Obama’s been hands off on Wisconsin, so find somebody else to blame.

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2012
6:08 am

Maybe the plutocracy can get to work repealing the 13th Amendment next. (not that they really need to, but it’d be an important symbolic victory.)

Brosephus™ - Public Sector Union member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
6:12 am

dB

You’re thinking way too small. They’re gonna just buy the entire Constitution and wipe their ass with it and not just a single amendment.

Ken

June 6th, 2012
6:28 am

Obviously the boards of directors who have agreed to the pay packages are obviously dumber than the executives that they have rewarded for failure.

Whahema

June 6th, 2012
6:33 am

More government is not the solution to all problems. The left wants to make CEO pay the government’s business so they can make everyone’s pay fall under government’s conrol.

If I were a hard core left winger like bookman, I would no talk about the government employee unions and the democrats taking a shellacking in Wis either.

Peadawg

June 6th, 2012
6:47 am

Great job to the voters in Wisconsin!!! How many days did the teachers up there strike? Go to work and do your job teaching kids.

After all the crap that the NFLPA has pulled w/ the Saints bounty scandal…I have no respect for unions anymore. And now the NFL ref’s union is threatening to strike, putting the NFL in the position of having to hire temps.

Real Scootter

June 6th, 2012
6:50 am

Revisionistic much? Obama’s been hands off on Wisconsin, so find somebody else to blame.

Good morn Bro! I read a story on Comcast news that Obama sent some of his campaign team members over there to hopefully influence the outcome of the recall vote.I don’t know if it is true or not.If I knew how to post a link to the story I would.

TaxPayer

June 6th, 2012
7:01 am

So the Koch crooks only had to pay forty million to keep their finger puppet, Walker, in office for the rest of his term this time. I think it was actually more than that. Cons aren’t that cheap, are they! Well, at least the Koch crooks are being forced to spend a little money on parts of the economy that they did not want to spend money on.

zeke

June 6th, 2012
7:10 am

remember bob nardelli…..

Mick

June 6th, 2012
7:15 am

Wisconsin is a strange state; how could they keep walker yet obama leads in their polls? This country is heading into a very loopy era, who know where it will take us…

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
7:34 am

Real Scooter

I found articles from 2008 that showed Obama staffers going to Wisconsin, but not for the recall. I’m not doubting your story, but I haven’t personally seen where Obama had been hands on with that effort. I’ve actually read where people were upset that Obama was standoffish about it.

—————————–

Mick

Good question. I’m so tired of hearing lies about collective bargaining. The main misconception that people believe as gospel truth is that unions negotiate directly with the elected officials. The only time that’s a possibility is in local government where department heads are also elected officials. Any and all other cases, bargaining talks are generally between agency and union negotiators. Last time I checked, there are very few places, if any, that elect heads of agencies/departments outside the local level. The whole idea that a union can put a person in office and then get preferential treatment in contract negotiations with that same person is bunk. If an elected official is directly involved in contract negotiations, then even I would question those negotiations.

I guess it’s all in who has the microphone in their hands, and right now, the Right has billionaires who can buy sh*tloads of microphones. So much for the idea of “free” speech, because it damn sure isn’t very cheap anymore.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
8:55 am

Congress has been doing a miserable job for years. We should cut their salary 5% and freeze their automatic salary increases until the budget is balanced. All sectors of the government should have their pay frozen and their budget reduced 5% for the next 4 years. The military should be reduced 10%. I believe that CEO’s are over paid in many cases but this is the private sector and the government has no place telling companies what to pay their employees. While we are at – the Fed government should also not be meddling in state government’s politics and the failed Wisconsin recall of governor Scott Walker is a disaster for the Dems.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
9:03 am

It’s not strange at all. The people of Wisconsin hired Scott Walker to turn the state’s 3 + billion dollar deficit, accumulated under Dems, around and create a surplus. He is doing that. Walker violated no laws and politics, plain and simple, is the reason for the recall vote. The Fed government and Dems overstepped their boundaries and the voters showed their disapproval of the interference in state business. The so called amateurish poll during the voting for Obama was not taken by a legitimate pollster. Time will tell how this interference will affect Obama. One thing for sure it doesn’t help.

Oblama

June 6th, 2012
9:11 am

Obama is definitely no fan of states rights and his selectivity of same sex marriage being a states rights issue all of a sudden is laughable. 16 states have passed an amendment stating marriage should be between one woman and one man. After the election, if he wins, he will “evolve” that the Fed government should decide this issue rather than the states. He is a big government socialist all the way and proud of it.