Tuesday, October 07, 2008


In the case of the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street, that's also Rule #1. Richard S. Fuld Jr., chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers, received over $300 million in compensation since 2000 and Lehman is now bankrupt. Too bad the Invisible Hand can't claw back some of that wasted money but maybe that would upset Larry Kudlow too much. How did Fuld justify this nonsense? By blaming somone else:
Waxman questioned Fuld on whether it was true he took home some $480 million in compensation since 2000, and asked: "Is that fair?"

Fuld took off his glasses, held them, and looked uncomfortable. He said his compensation was not quite that much.

"We had a compensation committee that spent a tremendous amount of time making sure that the interests of the executives and the employees were aligned with shareholders," he said. Fuld said he took home over $300 million in those years - some $60 million in cash compensation.

You can understand a little better why so few firms let the owners (the shareholders) vote on executive compensation. Let's also not forget that the Lehman execs managed to squirrel away $2.5 billion in bonus money as the ship was sinking.

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