The Institute for Policies Studies is a Washington , D.C. populist think tank, just published their 16th annual “Executive Excess” report. The above quote, from lead author Sarah Anderson, is kind of the snap shot headline that says it all. But looking at the polarized nation we are becoming, the actual numbers are indeed frightening – how we reward our senior executives absolutely defines American values in the eyes of the world.
Try these snippets from the report summary
Ten of the top 20 financial bailout firms have revealed the details of stock options pocketed in early 2009. Based on rising stock prices, the top five executives at each of these banks have enjoyed a combined increase in the value of their stock options of nearly $90 million.
From 2006 through 2008, the top five executives at the 20 banks that have accepted the most federal bailout dollars since the meltdown averaged $32 million each in personal compensation. One hundred average U.S. workers would have to labor over 1,000 years to make as much as these 100 executives made in three.
Since January 1, 2008, the top 20 financial industry recipients of bailout aid have together laid off more than 160,000 employees. In 2008, the 20 CEOs at these firms each averaged $13.8 million, for a collective total of over a quarter-billion dollars in compensation.
These 20 CEOs averaged 85 times more pay than the regulators who direct the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. These two agencies, many analysts agree, have largely lacked the experienced and committed staff they need to protect average Americans from financial industry recklessness.
Made you feel really good about this financial meltdown, didn’t I?
I’m Peter Dekom, and my head is shaking too.