If you need any further proof that the 1% live in a bubble, the title of this article should take care of that niggling little doubt. Oh? You think I might be exaggerating? No one could possibly be so lacking in shame or self awareness to push for more than a $500k salary at a bank that had to be bailed out, could they? Sadly, you are so very, very wrong.
The Gothamist reports that, despite the Obama administrations’ desire to cap compensation for executives at bailed out banks at $500k, 49 truly deserving executives received pay of $5 million or more while others received significantly more than the cap (if less than $5 million):
Although generally he limited cash compensation and made some reductions in pay, the Special Master still approved total compensation packages in the millions. Special Master [Kenneth] Feinberg said that the companies pressured him to let the companies pay executives enough to keep them from quitting, and that Treasury officials pressured him to let the companies pay executives enough to keep the companies competitive and on track to repay TARP funds.
Given OSM’s overriding goal, the seven companies had significant leverage over OSM by proposing and negotiating for excessive pay packages based on historical pay, warning Special Master Feinberg that if he did not provide competitive pay packages, top officials would leave and go elsewhere.
So what? These are the people that drove the company in to the ground. Retaining them should not be a pressing concern. Let them leave and find someone to run the company who won’t require billions in taxpayer dollars to stay afloat. Just the fact that these men (and I can almost guarantee that they are all men) feel that they’ve “earned” this money is boggling enough but then there’s this:
…the CEO of Ally Financial (formerly the General Motors Acceptance Corporation) explains why his company pressured the Special Master to go above the $500K pay cap. “We had an individual who was making $1.5 million total compensation with $1 million in cash,” the executive, Michael Carpenter, said. “Cutting this person’s salary to $500,000 cash resulted in the person being cash poor. This individual is in their early 40s, with two kids in private school, who is now considered cash poor… We were concerned that these people would not meet their monthly expenses due to the reduction in cash.”
That’s simply astounding. As he wrote those words, do you think that, for even a second, he was concerned about the millions of people that could no longer “not meet their monthly expenses due to the reduction in cash?” The same people left in that situation by the immorality and greed of people like this “cash poor” individual? Are we, the taxpayers, supposed to feel bad for this father of two kids in private school? Seriously? The average household makes just over $31k a year but this “cash poor” individual couldn’t make it on more than ten times that much.
Where’s the austerity? Where’s the shared sacrifice? When these banksters crashed the economy and threw millions out of work, those newly unemployed had to sell their homes or just lose them. They had to cut back on all kinds of necessities, never mind actual luxuries. And yet, when these victims of Wall St. greed cried for help from the government, the 1% responded with derision and shouts of “Losers!” and “Get a job!” But they were quite concerned that their 1% buddies “would not meet their monthly expenses due to the reduction in cash,” so we taxpayers had to foot the bill to furnish their lavish lifestyle. And yes, I feel perfectly justified in calling it “lavish.” To live a lifestyle that cannot be supported on less than $1.5 million and be unable to scale back to a measly $500 grand is the very definition of lavish.
When you hear someone on Fox News whine about how Obama is waging class warfare, remember this “justification” for awarding one of the architects of the collapse an extra million because he couldn’t cut it on anything less. Remember that dozens of the other “job creators” needed millions more as a pat on the back for destroying the economy while complaining about about the peons demanding justice. If that’s not class warfare, then I don’t know what is.
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