Donít forget the man who caused the Merrill Lynch collapse. Just last year, Stanley OíNeal was paid $48 million a year and pocketed a $160 million severance package when he was fired. The stock had gone from the $50s to $5. This is the way capitalists operate on Wall Street. At a certain level no one is held accountable.
Now we are on the brink of bailing out similar firms, with similar compensation packages, with no agreements as to pay for the remaining executives and no equity for the taxpayers. My suggestion is that they be paid Ė$50 million, and be required to cough up that amount in back wages before they get any bailout.
Those opposing any limits on executive compensation argue that limits might discourage some firms (their executives) from participating. Thatís patriotism for you.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says we have to bail these firms out to save the country, but the greedy executives may balk at saving the country for fear of missing out on obscene golden parachutes. That, too, is patriotism for you.