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"I don't understand how any CEO who is annual compensation is in the millions can be consider it to be justified, let alone necessary for living a good life. The degree of success in a corporation is dependant upon the result of all the people in it, not just the CEO." Talk back on the boards.

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4.12.02
Politics and Economy:
Bill Moyers on Executive Compensation


There is no end to this story because every day there are new headlines to report. The fired chief of Ford Motor Company gets 18 million dollars, while the company loses 5-plus billion.

View the Commentary
Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers
on Executive Compensation

The chairman of Chase Manhattan gets 20 million for buying JP Morgan and Company--and the stock falls by a third.

Xerox has to pay a record fine of 10 million dollars for inflating its stock with false information. But while the stock is up, the CEO sells his shares for 16 million dollars.

Not only are executives wallowing in wages, says THE ECONOMIST magazine, their pension plans are suffering rampant inflation. But ordinary workers are now putting more money into employee-sponsored pensions than their companies are -- and the plans are not as safe as the old ones.

These CEOs are the new feudal lords, writing the rules to suit themselves. They've even rigged the tax codes so companies get a tax writeoff for those stock options that make executives rich.

Now look at these headlines: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - "Bush Administration Seems to Ease Curbs on Tax Shelters for Corporations."

THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE: "American Corporations Balk at Disclosure of Tax Shelters."

NEWSWEEK: "Corporate America Has a Gift For Finding Loopholes (including on some lovely off-shore islands.)"

We're beginning to hear voices saying enough's enough, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Harvey Pitt, for one. And Warren Buffett, perhaps America's most successful investor, this week urged Congress to require more honest accounting on stock options. But the last time this was tried, Senators voted it down... making — and these are Warren Buffett's words, not mine — "Making a number of their largest campaign contributors ecstatic."

Well, ecstatically back to those tax returns.

Tell us what you think.

Updates on Corporate Excess

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