Executive Pay on Wall Street Climbs to $135 billion
February 2, 2011
SAN DIEGO (ETFguide.com) – No matter what year it is executive pay continues to be a hotly contested subject. And the Wall Street Journal’s latest report that total compensation including benefits for execs at 25 major Wall Street firms hit $135 billion has resurrected feelings of resentment.
Generally, the most vocal critics about overpaid executives are the same individuals that celebrate when their favorite sports team signs a $250 million ballplayer. These particular individuals don’t mind paying for $15 beers and $35 parking at the game, but banning all forms of executive pay is their lifelong goal.
What about Kenneth Feinberg, the Presidential appointed “pay czar” who was supposed to put a ceiling in executive pay?
The federal pay limits instituted under TARP were for companies that received bailout funds, but since most Wall Street firms exited the program by repaying government loans, they are no longer bound by pay restrictions. That includes names like Citigroup (NYSE: C), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT).
How can Wall Street’s executives rake in $135 billion when nationwide unemployment is close to 20 percent?
To no fault of their own, executives are merely complying with the wishes of deranged people (compensation committees and shareholders) that have no concept of high and low. In truth, corporate executives only take what others allow them to take. And now that bashing corporate executives has become America’s new national pastime, we should keep all of this in mind. If we can’t lower executive pay, at the very least, let’s lower the public’s blood pressure.
The next important question becomes, where are the shareholder’s yachts?