Wall Street executives back at the trough

From the WSWS:

Annual bonuses rose by 11 percent for executives at the 450 largest US corporations last fiscal year, according to a new survey published by the Wall Street Journal. Overall, median compensation—including salaries, bonuses, stocks, options and other incentives—rose by three percent to $7.3 million in 2009.

The increased payouts were the result of soaring profits at top companies, which doubled from a year earlier, leading to a 29 percent increase in total shareholder returns. This, in turn, was the direct result of the offensive that corporate America has waged against the working class, with the full backing of the Obama administration and both big business parties. Over the course of the last two years companies have slashed payrolls, wages and benefits, replaced full-time workers with temporary and casual workers earning poverty level wages and ratcheted up productivity.

Cost-cutting and streamlining were the principal pursuits of all the CEOs pocketing large pay packages last year. The top five were: (1) Gregory B. Maffei of Liberty Media Corp., who got $87.1 million in compensation last year, four times his 2008 package; (2) Larry Ellison, Oracle’s billionaire founder, who received $68.6 million; (3) Ray R. Irani of Occidental Petroleum Corp., who got $52.2 million; (4) Yahoo’s Carol Bartz, who took in $44.6 million; and (5) Leslie Moonves from CBS, who got $39 million.

With the S&P 500 Index up 7.5 percent so far this year, top executives are expected to see even bigger compensation packages in 2010. “Many companies are beating earnings expectations, stock prices are up and performance is good, so bonuses will be good,” Mark Reilly, a partner with the Chicago-based Compensation Consulting Consortium LLC, told the Journal.

I love a jobless recovery, me.


4 Responses to Wall Street executives back at the trough

  1. gallinggalla says:

    I just have no words, no curses, to express the level of anger I feel about this. Capitalism is an obscenity. These bonuses are an obscenity.

    I wanna watch when Gregory B. Maffei, Larry Ellison, Ray R. Irani, Carol Bartz, Leslie Moonves, and their ilk try to walk through the eye of the needle.

    The actions of these people is unconscionable. I wonder how many of the profess a faith, and how they can go to church / synagogue / mosque / temple and actually feel that their actions are just. I wonder just exactly what it takes for them to be able to sleep comfortably at night while making their money off of the backs of the working class and marginalized people.

    For those money-changers that are Jewish, I ask: Do you really think what you are doing is tzedek (justice)? Do you think it’s tzedakah (charity)? Or does “charity” to you mean steal the money and labor of working-class people, and then pitch a donated computer or two back at them?

    For those money-changers that are Christian, do you really think that this is what Jesus’ teachings are really about? Do you think that this verse doesn’t apply to you? Luke 18.25: “Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    I mean, I know the graffito is from protests in Britain, but still: Tory pigs, indeed.

  2. queenemily says:

    Yes., you raise a really good point about the obscene alliance between certain kinds of faith and capitalism. I’m reminded of the US conservative attempt to rewrite the Bible underway, removing the inconveniently liberal passages about compassion and empathy.

    But yes. I believe conservatives are idolaters: they makes idols out of money, nation and their own models of G_d and family. There’s no element of the transcendent, no ethical reciprocity, no compassion (and hence no justice), no element of the unexpected, of being surprised by G_d, surprised by joy (as C.S Lewis put it).

    Profoundly irreligious, in all the worst ways.

  3. gallinggalla says:

    I’m reminded of the US conservative attempt to rewrite the Bible underway, removing the inconveniently liberal passages about compassion and empathy.

    Wait, are they literally trying to produce a conservative version of the Bible? Like for use in churches and everything?

    And of course they go along and say that the Bible is the literal word of God, but then they get to choose to snip out the parts of the literal word of God that they don’t like.


    (FYI, just to make clear my religious affiliation – I was raised in a [secular, culturally-] Jewish family, practiced Judaism for well-nigh 20 years, and have fairly recently started attending an Episcopalian church, one in which about a third of their parishioners are TQBLG. The rector, assistant rector, and all of the lay leadership that I’ve met so far all make it clear that the Bible was written by humans – inspired by God but fallible nonetheless – and is therefore open to questioning and interpretation along metaphorical, allegorical, and cultural lines.)

  4. queenemily says:

    I’m not sure if it’s going to be used in churches or not, it was online – by the Conservapedia people as I recall. And yes, that’s about the sum of it. I mean, it’s a process that everyone engages in anyway (selective reading) because the Bible is too large and contradictory to really mean all those things at once, but it’s stomach-turning to see that formalised…

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