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How to Scrape by on $10,000 a Week + $5.7 Million in Stock

Updated on March 26, 2010

Bailout Executives Struggle Through Life on Barely $10,000 + Per Week

Ah the struggles of Corporate America… I almost shed real tears when I learned the Bailout Executive pay was being cut to the bone. Those poor bastards that accepted bailout money. They should have just rejected it and let their companies go under. Then they could still be cashing in those big pre-bailout checks right? Think about the level of Corporate Talent that it takes to drive a company that is more than 100 years old with prior revenues of a peak value of $57 billion in 2000 to a negative $90 Billion in 2009! That’s $147 Billion dollar loss in just 9 years!

That’s the kind of top-notch “A” list executive talent that deserves to be rewarded (I mean showered with taxpayer money). Keen forward thinking visionaries deserve to be rewarded! God bless the Corporate Executive and those ever so difficult decisions they make on a daily basis like where to go to lunch and how much time to spend at the Country Club.

In a bankruptcy distribution, the claims of common stockholders are always last in line. When General Motors filed for bankruptcy it claimed $172 billion in debt and $82 billion in assets, so there’s not even a coattail to hold onto.

The “Top Executives” at at Bank of America Corp., American International Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., General Motors, GMAC, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial have got some real tough financial times ahead of themselves. Good thing they have $50-100 million saved up to help them get through these tough times.

Is the Government definition of fair “Executive Compensation” even in the realm of reality? The kind of reality that the average working class citizen would not find completely appalling? Seriously $10,000 a week that’s less than a lot of NFL players, NBA Players, and people who have won the multi-state Power Ball Drawings. Sure only 5% of the population at large (You know those stupid ordinary citizens that “work for a living”) make over $200,000 a year would understand just how difficult this is going to be. Good thing these misfortunate talents will have an extra $5.7 Million in stock made available to them over the next 3 years to offset the high cost of living. How are these executives going to put food on the table and a roof over their heads?

Good thing this is just now kicking in and they had the opportunity to milk their companies post bailout but pre-imaginary penalty. Right?

The government did not want to make executives return compensation already received this year, but the reduced pay levels will be the base for making decisions on salary in 2010, Feinberg said.

And why would these Government regulators want to treat their close circle of friends so poorly as to even suggest they give back some of those overly inflated unearned post bailout windfalls that the tax payer didn’t want, didn’t vote for, but got pushed through so aggressively by the powers that be (i.e. elected officials). Whats a few $100 Billion of tax payer money spread among friends? John Q. Public would just waste that money on frivolous things like food and rent and mortgage payments. Obviously times are tough... these people deserve it... right?

When I read this next part I just couldn’t hold back my empathy for those poor executives any longer… the tears began to stream from my face.

Bank of America complained that the pay restrictions would hurt its ability to retain top employees.

"Competitors not subject to the pay restrictions already are exploiting this situation by identifying our top performers and using pay concerns to recruit them away," said Bank of America spokesman Scott Silvestri.

Other companies are just lining up to cherry pick all that top talent, the same talent that drove Bank of America Billions into the red. If I were recruiting talent for my company (And yes I own a company) the first thing I look for is people with a proven track record of failure. People with no ethics and so little foresight that they couldn’t put a stop to the downward spiral. I want these keen thinkers on my team!

Feinberg restructured the pay packages for top executives to provide a base salary and a portion described as "stock salary." The employees will be required to hold the stock for two years and then can only sell one-third of the stock payment each year for three years.

Boy I bet that is going to really sting. Free Government endorsed stock that can only be cashed in several times over the next 1,000 days.

In one pay plan approved by Feinberg, the three highest earners at Citigroup will receive a base salary of $475,000. Each executive also will be paid between $5.6 million and $5.8 million in company stock to be redeemed beginning in 2011. The third category of long-term restricted stock will equal $3 million for each executive.

What a load of crap. How do the rest of us get in on this super restrictive pay schedule? I’m willing to take a cut in pay to $475,000 a year plus $5.7 million in stock. But that’s just me…. I’m pretty easy to please. I’m sure some of you could hardly get by on such paltry wages.

And Here is Proof the Government Really Cares About You and I

Elsewhere, Freddie Mac is giving its chief financial officer compensation worth as much as $5.5 million, including a $2 million signing bonus. The government-controlled mortgage finance company doesn't have to follow the executive compensation rules because it is being paid outside the TARP.

That’s right Billions in the red… in fact in the first quarter of 2009 Freddie Mac lost $10 Billion Dollars!

Freddie Mac yesterday reported that it lost $10 billion in the first three months of the year, as investments in mortgages continued to fall in value at the federally run housing finance giant.

The disclosure automatically prompts a $6 billion investment from the Treasury Department to keep the company solvent, bringing Freddie Mac's bailout total to $51 billion in the first nine months of its government rescue.

And on a related note…

Last week, Fannie Mae reported that it lost $23.2 billion in the first three months of the year as mortgage defaults increasingly spread from risky loans to the far-larger portfolio of loans to borrowers who have been considered safe. The loss brought District-based Fannie Mae's total bailout to $34 billion.

So why not … another Top Executive being rewarded for failure to the tune of $7.5 million a year.

How Stupid Does One Have to Be to See Anything Beyond Business As Usual?

You are all probably a lot smarter than I am. So I’d love for anyone to show me how this super restrictive compensation restructuring is anything but business as usual. Is $10,000 a month plus $5.7 million is stock a penalty? Seriously? 90% of the working public won’t make $5.7 million in their entire lives!

Are we as tax payers supposed to think everything is being done in our interests now? Continually rewarding people for failure? Do you really think Chrysler and GM are going to ever pay back the money they took? Ever?

It’s Business as usual. Wall Street is still doing the exact same things that got us all in this mess in the first place. Nothing has been fixed. The Deficit is larger, the American Public deeper in debt. More people are out of work.

And this is the Bullshit line we are fed by the Media via our elected officials.

Makes me all teary eyed.

Comments Welcome… especially intelligent ones

Caution: American Tax Dollars at Work

Who is really pulling the corporate pay strings?
Who is really pulling the corporate pay strings?


Submit a Comment

  • ecobard profile image


    9 years ago

    I feel sorry for those poor, half starved executives. We have some of those here in Tasmania. A few of them used to be state premiers and government ministers. Now they have to struggle on the board of Gunns Timber Ltd. See here what they produce for their pittance: >

  • Will Apse profile image

    Will Apse 

    9 years ago

    I enjoyed the photos of people standing on Wall Street with signs saying 'Jump you F**kers'. Maybe it was the $10,000 a week that kept them in their chairs ruining more lives with their incompetence.

  • Tucci78 profile image


    9 years ago from New Jersey

    Lord God, Mike, but why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel?

    Despite the fact that a proper libertarian approach to the issue of "executive compensation" is straightforward ("Pay them what they're worth, and not a dime more or less"), the facts of reality - as you've observed - are that the perq-and-plunder packages upon which these Pointy-Haired Bosses have battened for the past decade and more have been gotten more through a kind of incestuous relationship between corporate directors and the senior management clowns than any sort of real worth.

    There is the same kind of dereliction of duty on the part of members of corporate boards as we see in almost all American communities in their School Boards.

    Think about it. A teacher working in school district "X" may not run for election to the School Board in the district for which he works - but he CAN get onto the School Board in district "Y," where he resides.

    Where this happens - and, brother, DOES it happen! - watch the per-student public school budget (and your property taxes) take off for Alpha Centauri.

    While, of course, the quality of education, the discipline of the teaching staff, and what your children actually get out of their schooling goes through the earth's crust en route to that spinning bolus of molten iron at the center.

    So how should things be different when corporate boards of directors are populated by bloated management toads who treat with the corporations' management EMPLOYEES as if those expensive empty suits are superior in their "ownership" of the corporation to the people who merely hold stock in the company?

    I've dealt entirely too much with "upper management" people over the past couple of decades. I cannot claim that my personal experience is universally reliable, but uniform among my observations is that they're aggressively stupid, hidebound more heavily than the average rhino, and actively hostile to anything remotely resembling plain damned common sense.

    Add to that a paranoid suspicion whenever confronted by anyone they perceive as smarter than they are (and despite their arrogant facades, they're acutely aware of just how tenuous is the "smile and a shoeshine" upon which they ride along), and you've got the kind of individual whose real worth is rather less than that of a camp latrine in want of back-filling.

  • jiberish profile image


    9 years ago from florida

    I'm ashamed to say that I worked for one of the above named companies, who jerked thier customers around, raised interest rates, changed them for fees not warranted, and now cry. We should have let them all fail. Great Hub.

  • Tom Cornett profile image

    Tom Cornett 

    9 years ago from Ohio

    I remember,a few years ago Donald Trump telling a judge that he couldn't live on $247,000.00 a month. You are is business as usual. The pathetic head of greed continues and grows under a new hat.

    Rewarding failure...what the hell is that!

    By the way....great hub! :)


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