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Monday Late Nite: It’s Raining CEOs!

From the New York Times:

James E. Cayne, Bear Stearns’s former chief executive and one of its largest individual shareholders, will most likely walk away with a little more than $13.4 million, the value of his Bear stock holdings, according to James F. Redda & Associates. Those would have been worth $1.2 billion in January 2007, when Bear’s stock was trading at a $171.51. Mr. Cayne has taken home more than $232 million in salary, bonus and other pay between 1993 and 2006, the time period for which there is publicly available data, according to Equilar, an as an executive compensation research firm.

Geez, I could certainly make do with $13.4 million after completely screwing up on the job.

Why are these people allowed to walk away with ANYTHING? After all, Cayne spent the last couple of years playing golf, smoking pot and playing bridge while his unsupervised underlings burned the company to the ground with their credit shell games. Behavior like this reeks of criminality of Enronian proportions. In a just world, he (along with the usual suspects in the crime-ridden Bush administration) would be stripped of all of his earthly posessions, including the clothes on his back, tarred and feathered, and sent out to the public square to beg for forgiveness from all the Bear Stearns employees and investors.

And I see I’m not the only one who thinks this way. So sayeth economist/blogger Brad DeLong, via TPM, on why the aptly initialed BS sold at $2 a share:

…Bear Stearns execs were unwilling to go into bankruptcy because of a various forms of criminal liability they would face — and that everyone would be so pissed about the collateral damage of the bank’s collapse that everyone would want to not only execute them but also have them drawn and quartered (in case you only know the phrase and not what it actually means: not pretty).

I have friends in the banking industry (gasp! – don’t worry, they’re the "little people") and they now live in fear for their jobs because of the cavalier attitude of schmucks like Cayne.  Call me crazy, but reading about this subprime mortgage/credit mess, you’d think that we learned nary a thing from the Enron fiasco. How many more "private financial institutions" are going to get bailed out by the Fed before the American people get tired of paying for it?

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NYC-based aquatic feline that likes long walks on the beach, illuminating the hypocrisies of "family values" Republicans, and engaging in snarling snarkitude.