This bad, according to The New York Times today:
At public companies with market values of more than $1 billion and that had filed proxies by April 30, the average package for the top 200 best paid chief executives was worth $22.6 million, trumping last year’s average of $20.7 million, and the median was $17.6 million. Those are the highest amounts since Equilar began keeping track in 2006.Yes, it's an even greater crime against humanity than you realized. How much more can the rich tolerate? Tom Perkins, the billionaire venture capitalist, certainly was correct when he wrote this in a letter to The Wall Street Journal last year:
... like an all-you-can-eat buffet for America’s captains of industry, it seems there is no end to how much money executives can devour. For the first time, all 10 of the top-paid C.E.O.s on Equilar’s list received at least $50 million last year.
... Chummy boardrooms, easily achieved performance targets and large discretionary bonuses -- these are the hallmarks of executive compensation today. They persist despite decades of attempted reform, the best efforts of shareholder advocates and concern about rising inequality.
From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent.....Oh, but the executives whose pay packages are surveyed in the Times today aren't the hedge-funders and private-equity guys who've also compared Obama to Hitler in recent years. How are those poor souls doing, according to the Times?
This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?
However large, these pay packages [for corporate executives] do not represent the pinnacle of executive compensation. Hedge fund and private equity firm leaders can make not just tens of millions of dollars a year, but more than $1 billion.That would be the same Stephen Schwarzman who was very concerned about life under Obama in 2010:
The top 25 hedge fund managers took home a combined $11.62 billion last year, according to Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine, or nearly a half-billion dollars each. The top earner, Kenneth C. Griffin, the founder and chief executive of Citadel, brought home $1.3 billion. Private equity chieftains did nearly as well. Stephen A. Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group made $690 million last year, up from $450 million in 2013.
President Obama and the business community have been at odds for months. But in July the chairman and cofounder of the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms, amped up the rhetoric. Stephen Schwarzman ... was addressing board members of a nonprofit organization when he let loose. “It’s a war,” Schwarzman said of the struggle with the administration over increasing taxes on private-equity firms. “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”But let's get back to those CEOs of publicly traded companies. Give me a few examples of what they;re suffering through these days:
It pays to work for John C. Malone.All that pain and anguish in the corporate family of John C. Malone. No wonder he said this to The Wall Street Journal in 2010:
The billionaire who built a cable and communications empire is 74, and no longer a chief executive himself. But Mr. Malone still exerts sway from various boardrooms, and the C.E.O.s at the companies he oversees are routinely among the best compensated managers on the planet.....
Take Discovery Communications, the cable group behind Shark Week and shows like “Cake Boss.”... [Malone's] choice for chief executive, David M. Zaslav, received total compensation worth $156 million last year, making him the highest-paid chief of an American public company....
Just behind Mr. Zaslav on the list of the highest-paid chief executives is Michael T. Fries of Liberty Global, an international cable and wireless group that Mr. Malone presides over as chairman.... [Fries] got a package worth $112 million.
Gregory B. Maffei, one of Mr. Malone’s closest lieutenants, was paid twice in 2014. As chief of Liberty Media, which owns the Atlanta Braves baseball team and a big stake in the satellite radio provider SiriusXM, Mr. Maffei received compensation of $41.3 million. As chief of Liberty Interactive, a related company that owns stakes in home shopping networks, he received $32.4 million. Mr. Malone, the chairman of both companies, awarded his friend a total of $74 million last year, placing him sixth on the list.
Thomas M. Rutledge, another Malone confidant who oversees the regional cable operator Charter Communications, where Mr. Malone and Mr. Maffei are board members, was given a $16 million package last year, an increase of 259 percent over 2013....
Taken together, the four C.E.O.s were awarded more than $350 million last year, occupying three of the top six spots of the study....
Mr. Malone: Well, my wife, who is very concerned about these things, moved all her personal cash to Australia and Canada. She wants to have a place to go if things blow up here....Yes, the pie slices certainly are small for all of Malone's CEOs, aren't they?
We have a retreat that's right on the Quebec border. We own 18 miles on the border, so we can cross. Anytime we want to we can get away.
It would probably be illegal but we could go. Actually our snowmobile trail goes right on the border....
WSJ: Do you think President Obama should be re-elected?
Mr. Malone: I don't think he should have been elected in the first place. I think he's incompetent. But now, I've thought that of the last couple presidents. [Obama's administration] is all academics and lawyers. I'm afraid that our real problems are systemic and long term. And lawyers are primarily trained in fighting over the pie, not making the pie bigger. And this country definitely needs to think about making the pie bigger.