Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CEOs Profit While Laying Off Employees

Think Progress has a good article about the just-released  annual report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) on executive compensation.  Here are some of the highlights, or maybe they should be called lowlights
CEOs of the 50 firms that have laid off the most workers since the onset of the economic crisis took home nearly $12 million on average in 2009....while at the same time, their companies eliminated 531,363 jobs despite reporting a 44 percent average profit increase for 2009.
After adjusting for inflation, CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century.

American workers, by contrast, are taking home less in real weekly wages than they too home in the 1970s.
Fred Hassan, former CEO of Schering-Plough, presided over announced layoffs affecting 16,000 workers after a 2009 merger with Merck. He resigned after the merger, receiving “golden parachute” compensation in 2009 of more than $49.6 million to rank as the highest-paid layoff leader.
The top five companies announcing the most layoffs for the study period were General Motors (75,733); Citigroup (52,175); Bank of America (35,000); Caterpillar (27,499) and Verizon (21,308). Among those top five, the biggest compensation package — nearly $17.5 million — went to Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon.
According to IPS, American CEOs make 263 times the average compensation for American workers, up from the 30 to 1 ratio in the 1970s.
Here is what corporate America has been doing:
...squeezing of worker jobs, pay and benefits to boost corporate earnings and maintain corporate executive paychecks at their recent bloated levels.
And these are the very people that republicans support.  These are the very people that republicans say we must give tax breaks to, we must let them keep all their money.  After all, they "earned" it. Yeah, they "earned" it on the backs of the American worker.

The facts are that the only jobs that corporate america is interested in is their top executives jobs and that they will sacrifice worker jobs for executive pay, bonuses, and perks


  1. We gave our tax money to the corporations to save them, and they did not help the individual Americans. This depression is being carried on the backs of the American people. Maybe GB had one thing right "Go Shopping." I wish the corporations would do a little spending (hiring people) instead of hoarding our tax money.

  2. These guys are something else. The other day, an investment banker attacked President Obama's approach to regulation as holding back a recovery. It's like the guy who drove a car into a ditch saying "Trust me: I can get it out by driving it in deeper."

    TOM, the worst part is that the money is there but the banks won't lend it. Although that's been reported somewhat, an accountant who follows the business press told me that it's worse than has been said. He thinks there's enough money in banks right now to finance a recovery. It's like Michael Kinsley used to write: The scandal is what's legal.

  3. According to an article on "Market Watch", "Corporations hoarding cash like never before".

    The author says there are two reasons for this -- the 1st is... "many firms don't have to invest as much as they used to. They have outsourced [continually more] of their output of goods & services to companies based overseas, leaving it to subcontractors in India & China ... to lay out the cash necessary to expand".


    The 2nd is... "with corporate CEOs having a shorter & shorter tenure at the top, there is little point in doing anything that will not produce immediate benefits. & investments in new facilities or technologies can sometimes take years to bear fruit..."

    In other words the CEOs are shipping American jobs overseas and running their corporations for short term benefit. It's all about extracting as much cash from the companies they head as quickly as possible. These Sociopathic CEOs are shooting the American worker in the foot on the first count and the company in the foot on the second count. We need legislation to reign this behavior in.

    It isn't healthy for the American worker or the corporations.

  4. So true, but the CEOs are also buying legislators by the bushel full so it is unlikely we will see any meaningful legislation in the near future.