Plea$e Mr. Feinberg! $ay it ain't $o!October 22, 2009: 12:48 PM ET
So it's finally coming down. The pay czar has studied the situation. Thought about it. And declared his intention to send a message. Pay for the top 175 executives at the financial institutions that took a bailout are to have their base pay cut by as much as 90%, and total comp by 50%. Seven companies will be affected. Of course, we don't know precisely which executives are on the hook, but I think we can draw our own conclusions.
America has been waiting for quite some time to see some green blood in the water, and this move only begins to address the underlying rage our nation feels at Wall Street and its minions. Still, you have to feel a twinge of empathy for these 175 individuals who are the first to shoulder the blame for all that our financial institutions have done to screw up our economy. Thousands were involved, of course, but these 175 must stand in the forefront of their cadre, trembling, as their golden parachutes are folded up and put away, their ceremonial swords broken over the knee of the government.
Think of the sacrifices that these few, unlucky individuals will have to bear! Here are just a few:
- Significant and immediate cutbacks in philanthropic activity.
- The new yacht will have to be canceled. Last year's model will have to do.
- The private jet will have to go. At best a Netjet time share will fill in the gap, but it's quite possible that from here on in some of these folks will have to fly commercial. That's huge.
- That third home in East Hampton or Malibu will be put on the block; some executives will even be down to just one primary residence.
- No Easter break in St. Bart's for the entire extended family, and the compound in Martha's Vineyard will have to be leased out for the entire month of August.
- Taxicabs instead of car and driver. While the occasional limo may be a possibility, waiting time is out of the question.
- Some club memberships will have to be winnowed out, leaving perhaps only one golf and one beach and tennis club for the foreseeable future.
- Support payments to former spouses will have to be renegotiated.
Obviously, dire times call for dire measures. Whether the radical actions contemplated by the Federal Government are warranted, or are too much, too soon, has yet to be ascertained.
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