Wednesday, February 4, 2009


It’s been called “draconian” by compensation “experts,” the same ones that are employed by the financial services industry – a proposed cap of $500,000 for the “top executives” of companies receiving the TARP funds. Pass the collection hat for the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, and General Motors who pocketed more than $37 million in total compensation in 2007, probably the peak year of the chimerical financial derivative.

But what about the rouges gallery of financial wizards who misrepresented risks to investors and yet cumulatively pulled down hundreds of $millions from an unsuspecting public and fled the scene, such as John Thain, Stan O’Neal, Robert Rubin, Chuck Prince, Dick Fuld, et al.?

To the rescue, a grass roots “claw-back” movement is underway, orchestrated by Nouriel Roubini, the NYU economist who warned about the current crisis years ago and Nassim Taleb, author of “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.”

Unless Rubin and others like him are made to mandatorily return their bonuses or are given some other punishment, the system that regrettably emerges is one "in which it’s the worst of capitalism and socialism, a situation in which profits were privatized and losses were socialized. We taxpayers have the worst."