Fat cats ; time to go on a diet…

How would you react to a 90 per cent pay cut ?

wall street sign

leaders of  the seven companies that received bailout cash from the US government, will have to cut their salaries.

  Is this a big triumph for the little taxpayer in the midst of a downturn where unemployment rates are shooting up through the roof? Like this blogger suggests?

The financial community was stunned. I don’t think that’s healthy, and I don’t like it,” said Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America. “These are decisions for boards of directors to make, not the government. I think this is a very slippery slope.”

Is Mr Fine right by saying this isn’t a decision for the government to make?
Or is this what people want ? Is it fair? or is it an easy political hit for President Barack Obama?

33 Responses to “Fat cats ; time to go on a diet…”

  1. 1 UK_Les from Oregon
    October 22, 2009 at 11:12

    My tax dollars were used to keep these companies afloat after the top execs fluffed it with risky investments.
    I have been told these firms were “too big to fail”…I believe the bonuses need to be cut for the teams that are still in place because these people may not have a job today had the real Capital Market Forces of the USA been allowed to prevail.

    The cream will rise to the top in this USA Capitalist Economy right?…So cut the bonus to zero and see who walks from AIG etc…

  2. 2 Trinity
    October 22, 2009 at 11:38

    I think its brillant idea that should be extended across the world. These people didn’t perform so they must pay for failure.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:50

    what beats me is how the least productive workers end up earning astronomical salary payments.the real drivers of the economy;doctors,teachers,professors,engineers and even politicians seem powerless to change this.something should be done about this capitalism thing.

  4. 4 patti in cape coral
    October 22, 2009 at 12:56

    “I don’t think that’s healthy, and I don’t like it,” said Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America. “These are decisions for boards of directors to make, not the government. I think this is a very slippery slope.”

    Are you kidding me? Government interference was okay when they were getting the money, but not okay now?

  5. 5 gary
    October 22, 2009 at 13:40

    Responsibility for determination of “fat cats’” salaries falls through the board of directors upon the shoulders of owners, and to no one else. Corporations that accepted monies from the US Treasury have sold some percentage of ownership to taxpayers and thus taxpayers, or their representatives, have some input into determination of the contents of executives’ pay packets. Boardrooms are never democracies, so the half-ton gorilla usually wins. It is too bad if some of the other owners are distressed, but business is business.

  6. October 22, 2009 at 13:52

    I agree it would be a slippery slope if we regulate all executive pay. But if they took money from us, we set the rules. I say limit their salary to $400 000 per annum and do not give them any bonus till they pay us back our money. We should tax their stock options too. For three years after they pay the money back, we should also tax their bonuses higher than market rate. We are in the gutter, so let them help us out now!

  7. 7 scmehta
    October 22, 2009 at 14:04

    Yes, the cuts are absolutely justified and necessary, even if it’s not going to help the public investors make-up their losses from their governments. It’s a great move, because; firstly, the ‘fat cats’ won’t run the risk of getting fatter and unhealthier and be a bigger burden to the national economic health; secondly, the move will send a clear message to other ‘cats’, who have not yet had a chance to get fat; thirdly, the world economies will be able show some concern, control and credibility to the investors and the tax-payers, who, have been mercilessly looted by the ‘fat cats’.

  8. 8 Jennifer
    October 22, 2009 at 14:35

    Wow, this isn’t the government’s place; to set salaries.

    Re: or is it an easy political hit for President Barack Obama?

    Bet those fundraisers didn’t do so well…..

    • 9 nora
      October 22, 2009 at 15:45

      The financial institutions collapsed, the government bailed them out, the government gets leverage on changing failed strategies and bad business practices.

      • 10 Tom K in Mpls
        October 22, 2009 at 16:01

        nora, get it straight. The financial institutions did not collapse. Some banks did, most did not and they already returned the bailout money after being told they had to take it.. The worst failures were the two directed by the government to give loans to unqualified low income people. These were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The business practices of most banks were solid.

    October 22, 2009 at 15:09

    Yes BBC news, Ethiopia is in desparate hunger once again. BUT,have you commented that their population was 32million at the time of ‘live aid’, it’s now well over 80 million!

  10. 12 John Henry - Trinidad and Tobago
    October 22, 2009 at 15:23

    The mere fact that a person’s salary can be cut by 90% and yet that individual can still experience a far better standard of living than 95% plus of the worlds population is proof of the fact that income absurdity and greed – in all quarters -need to be turned upside down.

    The real challenge that Obama and the world faces is how best to distribute income so that mankind can benefit from this instrument that is used to measure value.

    Q. How does one chang the greed mindset?
    A. For starters, by cutting the fat cats incomes by 90% and and letting the taxpayer make them accountable for every one of their tax dollars that are used to pay them.

    • 13 Bert
      October 22, 2009 at 16:56

      Fact is, John, that it was just this sort of “redistribution of wealth” that you tout that got the world in this financial tailspin. It was Freddie Mac and Fannie May, directed by the misguided in government to give out loans to those who obviously couldn’t manage them, and enticed to do so with government “guarantees,” that precipitated the crisis.

      Financial institutions work like any self-regulating machine. They HAVE to be throttled by their own survival instinct. The government cannot go in there and remove the threat of annihilation from the equation, and expect a good outcome.

  11. 14 Tom K in Mpls
    October 22, 2009 at 15:56

    This is funny. These companies should have been allowed to fail. They were flawed from the core. There were competitors that needed no help, proving it was not just ‘the economy’. So our governments wasted billions of dollars, and now they are gutting these companies and letting them die. Why didn’t they just leave them alone in the first place? The only answer I can see is it was a sales thing. A politician that does something will always gain support, even if it is the wrong thing.

    For some reason people believe it is the job of the government to do everything. I find this very scary. Can I ask for a boycott of all companies that kept the bailout money? Lets start a list with General Motors, Chrysler and Citi Group.

  12. 15 Bert
    October 22, 2009 at 16:48

    If the corporation came begging for money from us, the taxpayers, then we have every right to reduce the insane salaries the top execs make. BUT, if the companies work their way out from under that charity, and become self sufficient once again, and repay their debts, then of course the government has nothing to say about internal matters of the corporation.

    What is troubling to me is the overly-activist attitude that many in this Obama administration have. I don’t trust them to know how to run a corporation any more than I trust the previous fat cats. So what we, the people, have to do is to stomp out any thought the government might have to perpetuate its meddling, once the charity dollars stop flowing. I think that the President himself appreciates this, but I am not so sure about his advisors.

  13. 16 Dennis Junior
    October 22, 2009 at 18:20

    **How would you react to a 90 per cent pay cut ?**

    I would be very upset..But, the *Fat Cats* is time for a diet….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  14. 17 Dennis Junior
    October 22, 2009 at 18:31

    [Is Mr Fine right by saying this isn’t a decision for the government to make?]

    Mr. Fine comments’ would be accurate if the banks didn’t received any government $$$…But, most of them did then restrictions should be imposed on them….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  15. 18 Adam Harbin
    October 22, 2009 at 18:37

    People who feel the BMP leader shouldn’t be allow on Question Time hasn’t given it’s viewers enough credit to know right from wrong.

  16. 19 Dennis Junior
    October 22, 2009 at 18:43

    Or is this what people want ? (Yes, this what most people want)

    Is it fair? (Yes)

    or is it an easy political hit for President Barack Obama? (Probably going to an easy political hit against President Obama….)

    ~Dennis Junior~

  17. 20 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 19:22

    i would like to know how many of the complainers are willing to work 80 hr weeks year in and year out?

  18. 21 patti in cape coral
    October 22, 2009 at 20:21

    @ jens – Which complainers, the tax payers or the fat cats?

  19. 22 jens
    October 22, 2009 at 22:06

    no the one who want wages restricted. i think a lot of the superstar wages are crazy, but restricting them to 400K is not going to solve anything.

    i am just getting sick and tired of people complaining about how much this and that person makes, while not knowing how hard these people work….i am making a decent wage but i also work on average 60 hrs a week.

  20. 23 T
    October 23, 2009 at 15:28

    These CEO’s should get their pay cut for one reason: arrogance. They ran their companies into the ground, They get bailed out (which means they’re nationalized). And despite that they have the nerve to say we DESERVE massive pay? i don’t think so.

  21. 24 Tom K in Mpls
    October 23, 2009 at 17:00

    Here is a good question. Businesses generate a certain amount of money. Many can support huge salaries because people feel the price for the product or service is fair. Now if you free up all this money by cutting the salaries of these people, what is the best thing to do with this ‘saved’ money and what proof can you give that it is the right thing?

    • 25 No Thanks
      October 26, 2009 at 03:18

      Put the market to the test. If these people leave because they consider the remuneration to be paltry and the business remains unaffected when someone else takes over, then good riddance.

  22. 26 T
    October 23, 2009 at 17:25

    Having a job is a human right. But, making obscene amounts of money for incompetence in said job is a crime.

    • 27 Tom K in Mpls
      October 23, 2009 at 18:24

      No T, it is not a right. It is a possibility everyone is free to try to obtain. If you had a business and the government told you you were required to hire someone with no skills related to your business, because it is their right,what would you do or think of this? What about your rights?

  23. October 23, 2009 at 18:58

    Move to Afghanistan or Zimbabwe. Where is Vladimir Iljiitz Lenin and the bolshevick party now when we really need them?

  24. 30 No Thanks
    October 23, 2009 at 22:58

    If they don’t like it, they can always drive trucks or flip burgers for a living.

  25. October 24, 2009 at 12:54

    The pay cuts in question are chump change to these people.

  26. 33 A.Z.Utilitarian
    October 26, 2009 at 07:49

    And another thing: what you do with wealth says a lot about your character. My favorite story was the Dennis Kozlowski with his $6,000 shower curtain and Romanesque birthday party on Sardinia replete with dancing girls and a naked ice sculpture.

    I dunno about you, but a person that hires people to serve him as living naked statuary and waiters holds views about the worth of his fellow human beings that I have real issues with.

    And then you have people like Bill and Melinda Gates that live their lives fairly quietly and start a Billion dollar foundation that supports initiatives in education, world health and population, and community giving in the Pacific Northwest. The Gates will never miss a meal, and there will be a whole lot of general good works done. Why can’t we have more like them?

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