POVERTY IN AMERICA: THE CEOs
I've written about this before, but today the tear-jerker is on the front page of The New York Times:
Customers, Not Brokers, Profited in an Odd 2007
The brokers' customers did reasonably well. The brokers did not.
That is not the usual way of Wall Street. Two-thirds of a century ago, a best seller asked, "Where are the customers' yachts?" It noted that somehow the brokers always made money, even when their customers suffered. And so it has been for most of the years since then.
But not in 2007.
...In 2007, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose a respectable 3.5 percent, and high-quality bonds performed well as long-term interest rates fell.... Commodity prices continued to boom, and many foreign stock markets also did very well.... By and large, the customers of the big financial firms had reason to be pleased.
But not the bosses. The chief executives of Citigroup and Merrill Lynch were forced out, while Morgan Stanley's chief will go without a bonus for the first time anyone can remember....
So we're being told that the CEOs of Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley didn't make money. They didn't do reasonably well. They didn't profit.
Ex-Merrill Lynch CEO to walk out with $161.5M
Merrill Lynch's departing chief executive, Stan O'Neal, will walk away with $161.5 million in stock, options and retirement benefits, the company said Tuesday....
O'Neal left with a $131.4 million equity package of stock, options, restricted shares and restricted units. His restricted stock and restricted stock units will continue to vest on their original schedules, the company said.
He also has retirement benefits worth $24.7 million, while his deferred compensation stands at $5.4 million, according to the company. He will be entitled to an office and an executive assistant for up to three years.
Since O'Neal will keep his options and his stock grants, he could do even better if the stock rises under a new CEO, said James F. Reda, a compensation consultant. A $10 jump in the stock under new management could mean $30 million for O'Neal....
Ex-Citigroup chief to exit with bumper payoff
Charles "Chuck" Prince, the deposed head of Citigroup, is in line to walk away from the Wall Street giant with a total pay, perks and shares payout worth just under $100 million, it has emerged.
The payout for Mr Prince, who stays on as a consultant until the end of the year, include a pro-rata cash "incentive award" currently estimated to be worth $12 million.
It also includes $10,716,469 in restricted share awards and $16,046,703 in stock options that will automatically vest at his departure.
Mr Prince, whose exit was sealed late last week, already owns 1.61 million shares in Citi, currently worth about $53 million....
And as for poor John Mack of Morgan Stanley, well, yes, he does have to scrape by on his McDonald's-level base pay of $800,000 for the past year -- but only after receiving an all-time-record $40 million bonus the year before.
I know, I know: You're supposed to keep score differently for guys like this. Well, fine -- but don't abuse the language by describing their financial situation the way you'd describe the fate of an ordinary schmuck who's actually broke.
UPDATE: "$800,000" link replaced. Oh, and MSN MoneyCentral says that's "$800,000, not to mention $3 million in dividends from Morgan Stanley stock."