While many struggle to save their retirement funds, homes and jobs, there are a few individuals who will still take home their annual eight digit salaries. In lieu of the banking crisis, which I have also have been financially affected by, I’ve read articles and stories and checked facts on who exactly the CEO’s of these big financial corporations in distress are. I’ve put together a list of the salaries some of the ‘geniuses’ behind these falling companies will profit despite the bailout on Wall Street. Not only are these salaries unbelievable, but some of these individuals could potentially stand to gain a few more dollars when they’re companies get sold/bought/bailed out, etc.
John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, $17 million
Was accused in 2006 of insider trading tactics, alleging he tipped off a friend to a merger in 2001, but was cleared later of charges.
JP Morgan Chase
James Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, $20 million
He was forced to resign (technically fired) in 1998 from Citigroup for a huge plunge in profits which rocked the company.
James Cayne, CEO of Bear Stearns, $28 million
Nothing, and I mean nothing, can stop this man from a sunny day on the golf course…
"On June 14, the day when Bear Stearns reported a 10 percent drop in its operating earnings for the second quarter, Mr. Cayne was reported to be out of the office playing golf. On Thursday, June 21, as several big banks pressured Bear Stearns to increase the collateral on loans they had made to its sinking fund, Mr. Cayne was again…out of the office playing golf. The next day, in the biggest rescue of a hedge fund in almost a decade, Bear Stearns pledged to put up $3.2 billion to bail out its fund (actually $1.6).”
Richard Fuld Jr., CEO of Lehman Bros Holdings, $71 million
Had multiple opportunities to sell a portion of LB even with offers as late as August of this year, which would have helped to avoid the fallout, but stubbornly refused, tuning out advice and warning signals.
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs Group, $73 million
A staunch Democrat who robustly endorsed Hillary Clinton and also contributed significantly to John Kerry's failed 2004 Presidential campaign.
John Thain – Ceo of Merrill Lynch, $81 million
He is John McCain’s top economic advisor. He stands to make an extra $11m off the sale of Merrill Lynch to BofA.
All men are highly respected with Ivy-League or upscale accolades and accomplishments. Some have even agreed to ‘forego’ their bonuses, remaining firm on their salaries. Yet, not one has taken accountability for the disaster on Wall Street due to some very bad choices made at the top. Maybe all of their bonuses and lavish 1-year salaries combined should be thrown into the pot to pay for these damages. Of course this will not happen. Sadly, the taxpayers will have to eventually pay for the bailout of these big corporations.
On a more disturbing side note, the list of Forbes ‘America’s Top Paid CEO’s’ names Angelo R. Mozilo of Countrywide Financial at #4. Over the past six years, Mozilo has been collecting a paycheck averaging $66 million a year. This is most unfavorable considering the lack of responsibility Countrywide has taken on bad loans, their recent proposed sale to BofA and the bad press they have received for the biggest mass identity theft scandal thus far which includes 2 million people’s identity, loan information, social security numbers, etc. stolen by a senior Countrywide employee and sold for purposes that are still being investigated. Unfortunately I along with many others are one of the people who received the ‘identity theft’ letter from Countrywide, so it is disturbing that Mr. Mozilo makes a healthy profit annually, while under his watch, the ship was sinking.
*Numbers provided courtesy of Forbes CEO list and salaries based on stock and cash annual totals combined. Information links below to just a few of the articles noted in the fact gathering.
Morgan Stanley John Mack
JP Morgan Chase James Dimon
Bear Stearns James Cayne
Lehman Brothers Richard Fuld Jr.
Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein
Merrill Lynch John Thain