Nice perks if you can get them. A SEC filing from Bank of America reveals the goodies that come with being a banking exec. “Homeowners who can’t relocate because they’re stuck with mortgage payments on a home they can’t sell would lust after even a pale imitation of the $2.6 million relocation deal Bank of America gave Barbara J. Desoer, who moved from North Carolina to California last summer to take over as president of Bank of America’s Mortgage, Home Equity and Insurance Services business.” [Consumer Reports]
The NY AG has served Bank of America with a subpoena after they refused to release the names of the individuals who received over $3 billion in bonuses while Merrill Lynch was hemorrhaging money.
Merrill Lynch CEO: "Nothing Happened In The World Or The Economy" That Would Justify Suspending Bonuses
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter yesterday to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), head of the House Financial Services Committee, (which is currently holding hearings Washington on how banks are spending bailout funds.) In the letter, Cuomo expresses concern that Merrill Lynch moved up their bonus schedule so that they could make sure that taxpayers would get the bill.
Thanks to a change in federal rules 18 months ago, it’s now much easier to find out details of so-called “golden coffins,” which are—yes, this is real—posthumous payouts to CEOs that can climb into the hundreds of millions. Brian Roberts of Comcast will receive $298.1 million if he dies in office; Robert Iger of Disney will receive $62.4 million; Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon will receive $43.4 million. Ha ha, life insurance is for paupers!
Let’s say you run a toy company. Your retarding poison toys earn you a well-deserved public flogging, which you escape by scapegoating Chinese workers. The media doesn’t realize, until it’s too late, that the real culprits are the dangerous domestic designers you employ. Sales inch up marginally. Do you deserve $12.2 million, a 68% raise? Mattel’s Board of Directors thinks so!
Activist shareholders forced big changes at a Washington Mutual stockholder’s meeting last week, especially the reversal of a much-criticized decision to exclude subprime losses when calculating executive bonus pay. Washington Mutual was one of the lenders cavorting the most eagerly in the refuse trough of subprime lending, and has endured some of the largest losses as a result. Other key shareholder wins included splitting the CEO and Chairman position, and the resignation of several key board members. Nice job, activist shareholders, way to wake the hell up long after the damage was done.
Verizon will deign to consider an advisory vote on executive compensation from shareholders starting in 2009. Shareholders demanded the right to vote on executive pay at last year’s annual meeting. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s salary increased 11% last year to $21,309,264. Seidenberg’s salary has risen consistently, unlike Verizon’s profits.
Northwest has escaped from bankruptcy, and to celebrate, they are showering their executives with cash. The AP wryly notes that though the airline is shedding court protection from its creditors, it returns “into an industry besieged by higher fuel costs and crowded with competitors.”