Thursday, September 25, 2008

It Pays Off to be on Wall Street

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16:  Traders work on of t...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Wall Street Executive's Hefty Compensation in 2007

Now that the Wall Street Meltdown has managed to halt the John McCain campaign juggernaut in its tracks, all eyes are focused on Washington D.C. as our political leaders engage in something rare these days: bi-partisan problem-solving.

They have even managed to agree in principal to place some limits on executive compensation for the so-called "big shot executives on Wall Street" as part of the ultimate resolution of this unprecedented bailout.

This made me wonder exactly how much a Wall Street Big Shot makes these days. This question was answered in an article from the Tampa Bay Business Journal by Mike Sunnucks and Chris Casacchia. According to their research, these do earn some good dough. After researching proxy statements, they found the following information:

  • Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld Jr. $34 million in 2007

  • Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, $70 million and Co-Chief Operating Officers Gary Cohn and Jon Winkereid $72.5 million and $71 million, respectively

  • American International Group’s chief executive, Martin Sullivan $14 million in 2007

  • Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack $1.6 million. Chief Financial Officer Colin Kelleher got a $21 million paycheck in 2007

  • Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain $17 million in salary, bonuses and stock options in 2007

  • Bank of America Corp. BofA CEO Kenneth Lewis $25 million in 2007

  • JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO James Dimon $28 million in 2007

  • Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd received $11.6 million in 2007, with a possible $9 million in severance

  • Freddie Mac, Richard Syron, $18 million, with a possible $14 million in severance

  • Wachovia Corp. Chairman and CEO G. Kennedy Thompson $21 million in 2007; Successor Robert Steel CEO will get a $1 million salary with opportunity for a $12 million bonus

  • Washington Mutual new CEO, Alan Fishman, a salary and incentives package worth $20 million through 2009
Clearly this is not based entirely on pay for perfomance! Average CEO pay at large U.S. corporations was $10.8 million in total compensation in 2006, and $14.2 million in total compensation in 2007. It is difficult to determine how these guys earned their money over the past couple of years.

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