Friday, December 21, 2007


Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you, right?

...some [Wall Street] executives have even agreed to forgo their bonuses this year to reflect the poor performance. Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack and Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne won't be collecting their payouts....

Oh, poor babies.

Or maybe they don't exactly need our pity:

Mack received no cash bonus a year ago but received stock and options worth an estimated $40.2 million, well above his $800,000 base pay. Cayne received a bonus of $33.6 million in 2006 and base pay of $250,000....

And overall on Wall Street?

This might have been one of Wall Street's most dismal years in a decade, but that hasn't stopped bonus checks from rising an average of 14 percent.

Four of the biggest U.S. investment banks -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. -- will pay out about $49.6 billion in compensation this year. Of that, bonuses are traditionally estimated to represent 60 percent, or almost $30 billion....

It should be noted that Goldman Sachs wasn't hit by the subprime crisis quite as hard as the others, so its CEO is getting a $70 million bonus and compensation is up 20 percent. But Morgan Stanley just took a $9.4 billion writedown -- and yet compensation there is up 18 percent.

So the connection between pay and performance is, well, tenuous.

And is it safe to say that very few of you had a double-digit income increase this year? (I certainly didn't.)

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